Our Commitment To Diversity, Equity And Inclusion | NAMI

At NAMI, we believe a diverse, inclusive and equitable organization (or Alliance) is one where all employees, volunteers and members — regardless of gender, race, gender identity, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation, education, disability, veteran status or other dimension of diversity — feel valued and respected.

We are committed to providing informed, authentic leadership for cultural equity and modeling diversity and inclusion for the entire NAMI alliance. We shall:


  • See diversity, inclusion and equity as connected to our mission and critical to ensure the well-being of our staff and the NAMI Alliance we serve.
  • Identify and dismantle inequities within our policies, systems, programs and services and continually update and report the organization’s progress.
  • Explore potential underlying, unquestioned assumptions that interfere with inclusiveness.
  • Advocate for and support board-level thinking about how systemic inequities impact our organization’s work and how to address them in a way that is consistent with our mission.
  • Practice and encourage transparent communication in all interactions.
  • Lead with respect and tolerance.


We expect all leaders and employees to embrace this notion and to express it in workplace interactions and through everyday practice.


We are committed to a nondiscriminatory approach and to providing equal opportunity for employment, participation, and advancement in all programs and worksites.

CEO’s Vision

Daniel H. Gillison, Jr.

NAMI Chief Executive Officer

As an organization, we are making new investments and commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion. Through our work, we will:

  • Model diversity and inclusion for the NAMI Alliance
  • Establish processes, procedures and policies that enable diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Create and maintain a positive work environment that reflects our commitment to equity and supports full inclusion and participation by all staff and members so that all voices are heard and valued.
  • Live up to our stated and aspirational organizational values
  • Leverage DEI to achieve our mission

We will lead with inclusion and will help set goals and expectations that deeply influence workplace interactions, everyday practice and long-term outcomes for the National Office and the entire Alliance.


We are in the process of anchoring our DEI Plans to our 2020-2025 Strategy which solidly identified diversity and inclusion as powerful accelerators to achieve our goals and mission.

Our Approach

In partnership with the CEO (the DEI Executive Sponsor), other Senior Leaders, and guidance from the Board DEI Work Group and the DEI Staff Council, we are designing a strategic, comprehensive and systematic approach to cultural transformation. Our efforts include:

  • Building a solid foundation and an organizational structure that supports DEI
  • Defining diversity, equity and inclusion for our organization and using our shared language to advance our understanding
  • Assessing current status and plan for a desired future
  • Enabling training and development that enhances our human capacity to interact effectively with colleagues and members of our surrounding communities
  • Investing in and designing activities that advance DEI
  • Launching and prioritizing targeted efforts and initiatives that support the Alliance
  • Ensuring periodic updates and reporting our organization’s progress.

NAMI's DEI Leadership


NAMI’S Current Policy On Diversity And Inclusion For Affiliates And State Offices


NAMI shall actively recruit, engage and serve members from every race, culture, ethnicity, age, religion, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability and shall not discriminate in the requirements for membership, provision of service or support or in its policies or actions.

Membership Demographics

The NAMI Board of Directors will regularly review their own composition and membership demographics compared to those of the country using national census data in order to aspire towards reflecting that composition.

In keeping with NAMI’s values regarding nondiscrimination and with applicable federal law, NAMI shall include in bylaws, operating policies and procedures and other relevant policy documents explicit statements that require the organization to embrace the broadest possible definition of inclusion and nondiscrimination.


NAMI shall collect a baseline of members’ voluntarily supplied demographic information. Systems shall be put in place to protect the confidentiality of this information; demographic information will only be reported in the aggregate.


NAMI will reach out to and welcome the community at large through our recruitment, marketing, public education and awareness activities. NAMI will strive to support recruitment and retention of a diverse and inclusive membership and leadership.


NAMI will promote and mentor NAMI State Organization and NAMI Affiliate diversity and inclusion efforts. Whenever there is a demand and the interests of members can best be served by support through groups sharing some affinity, including but not limited to lived experience or primary language, NAMI shall encourage its Affiliates to move beyond their baseline.

NAMI HelpLine is available M-F, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. ET. Call 800-950-6264,
text “helpline” to 62640, or chat online. In a crisis, call or text 988 (24/7).