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Office of the Public Defender           6 St. Paul Street, Suite 1400, Baltimore, MD 21202           1.877.430.5187              opdcommunications@opd.state.md.us

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

ZANELE NGUBENI

DIRECTOR

​​839 Elkridge Landing Rd.

4th Floor

Linthicum, MD 21090

410.691.1530 ext. 103

​6 St. Paul Street, Suite 1400

Baltimore, MD  21202

410.767.2221

Diversity & Inclusion at OPD

Who We Are

OPD is comprised of hundreds of employees all united to achieve a common goal:  providing client-centered representation which promotes justice, fairness, and the dignified treatment of our clients.  To satisfy this mission, we embrace the interdependence of each district, division, and professional unit within our organization. We recognize that no single employee can fulfill our mission alone and every employee must be included in the work and the conversations

What We Believe

At OPD, we embolden a broad definition diversity which incorporates the added value of all life experiences that make us different: some include race, culture, gender identity or expression, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, military status, education, prior employment, communication styles, leadership styles, and varied cognitive approaches to problem-solving. 

We wholeheartedly believe that our clients benefit most when we value the diverse perspectives of those within our agency and the communities we serve.  As such, we strive to maintain an environment where our employees understand the value of their diversities and know that they belong.  

What We Do

We commit to fostering a culture where people are treated respectfully regardless of their differences or positions within the agency.  We reflect on our environments and learn from our experiences in order to ensure that diversity does not present a barrier to development or promotion.

We support internal employee resource groups and partner with community organizations that provide information about the needs of our employees and client communities.  We constantly educate ourselves about best practices in our industry and often serve as champions in advocacy persistently heightening standards.


Why We Do It

We do it to preserve our “Culture of Excellence.”  We want an agency full of employees who are excited to show up to do the work, committed to the fight for justice, inspired to fully engaged with creative ideas and strategies, and prepared to educate the rest of the world about the challenges our clients face. 

How We Do It

We R.e.n.e.w. ourselves daily. 

 

We Reflect on our experiences so that we are mindful to discover and understand our biases and how they affect the way we treat others. 

We engage emotionally in learning about the diverse cultures of our coworkers, clients, communities. 

We notice how our response to conflict or controversy impacts those around us and they way we do the work. 

We evolve when we extend empathy to one other in order to improve our well-being and our advocacy on behalf of our clients. 

We witness our lessons learned and provide tools and information to continue advancing our mission.