The Office of Racial Equity & Community Inclusion (ORECI) facilitates regular trainings for CVOEO staff on topics including racism, bystander intervention, motivational interviewing, and more. ORECI creates tangible progress and organizational development to advance racial justice at CVOEO, and engages in initiatives statewide to influence policy and advance racial justice.
As of July 1, 2023, CVOEO's Racial Equity Office expanded to become the Office of Racial Equity & Community Inclusion, and now includes the Community Ambassadors Program, formerly a part of CVOEO's Financial Futures Programs.
Our new Community Ambassadors team, comprised of bi-/multi-lingual and trusted New American community members, have experience in outreach, organizing, educating, and advocating on behalf of New American community members, and are dedicated to supporting diverse clients' inclusion, including access to services while ensuring their voices are heard. Community Ambassadors provide interpretation and translation services and respond to hotline calls from community members seeking service referrals to CVOEO's programs. They also host resource navigation gatherings, formerly called house parties, where they share important news and information about the resources available at CVOEO, and collect community members' insight on better ways they can access our services.
Community Ambassadors are also available to lead special projects from partner organizations upon request.
Our Community Ambassadors are community members from several New American communities trained and employed by CVOEO. Ambassadors are bi- and multilingual, trusted, self-motivated individuals with lived experience in outreach, organizing, educating, and advocating. They help our neighbor's New Americans Community members overcome language and cultural barriers while building trust with them. Ambassadors respond to hotline calls from community members seeking service referrals to CVOEO's resources. Ambassadors provide translation and Interpretation, which include cultural brokering activities whenever needed. They also run special projects upon request.
Learn more about our Community Ambassadors here!
To connect with a Community Ambassador, call and leave a message for Shiferaw Gemeda with your name, number, and language: 802-860-1417 X117
At a House Party, you will meet with three other community members who speak the same language as you and the Community Ambassador who also speaks your language. You will meet together as a group four times. You will take turns hosting the meeting at your house as a group. When it’s your turn to host, you will choose the topic to discuss during that session. Topics have included bank accounts and ATM cards, building credit, budgeting, developing businesses, buying cars, and buying homes in the past. They will now include all the areas of resources available at CVOEO and other organizations.
Learn more about House Parties at CVOEO here.
The classes you can take can be interpreted in Somali, MaiMai, Swahili, Nepali, Arabic, French, and Spanish.
Call us at 802-860-1417 X117 to learn more.
Ambassadors will provide translation services upon request for CVOEO and other partners.
All services are free to those who meet our income eligibility qualifications (must make less than the number indicated on chart for your household size to qualify for free services). See the chart below for program specific requirements:
Hotline for New Americans: 802-860-1417 X117
You can call our hotline for help with food, housing, renters’ rights, and more. Leave a message at 802-860-1417 X117 with your name, language, phone number and the purpose of your call and a Community Ambassador will call you back within three days. Our Community Ambassadors can help you in Somali, MaiMai, Swahili, Nepali, Arabic, French, and Spanish.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at CVOEO
CVOEO has been an anti-racist Agency since its creation in 1965 and a strong advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
CVOEO believes that addressing the fundamental issues of economic and social inequalities includes identifying and creating ways to build the core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion into our policies and practices. We are committed to serving the underserved, including those with low socio-economic status, people with disabilities and those with different gender-identities, sexual orientations, languages and religions, national and racial-ethnic origin, and the Black Indigenous Populations of Color (BIPOC).
Discussions about Diversity Equity and Inclusion have been frequent throughout our history. CVOEO considers racism a public health emergency and formalized its commitment to racial justice by creating both the Racial Equity Committee (REC) and the Racial Equity Program Director position in 2020, and by publishing a mission statement and a code of conduct. ORECI facilitates monthly meetings with the REC to take tangible steps in advancing racial justice at and beyond CVOEO.
Virginie Diambou, Program Director
Shiferaw Gemeda, Associate Director