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1300 N Broadway, Ste 330
Denver, CO 80203

OADC Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI)


accelerate Equity, advance Diversity, amplify Inclusion – together


The Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel is dedicated to zealous, client-centered advocacy rooted in social justice, integrity, and humility. As public defense advocates, we are committed to challenging bias and disparity within the courtroom, within our offices, and within ourselves. Statistical data and experience support that there is a disparate presence of violent policing, over-charging, and harsher sentencing outcomes for Colorado’s people of color and other vulnerable populations.  We are committed to exploring ways to raise the equity bar and believe that honoring different perspectives, voices, and lived experiences strengthens our ability to represent clients holistically and exceptionally.

EDI Committee
The OADC’s EDI Committee was founded on the essential equity, access, and justice principles. Comprised of OADC staff across multi-disciplines, we are committed to transformative growth as pivotal to our work from now on in developing and retaining our workforce and to recognizing the vital imperative of community, belonging, and mutual respect for the OADC stakeholders throughout the Agency’s ecosystem. Our work is centered on ethical, equitable, and standard-driven best practices in public defense, where all team members feel they belong and all are focused on the client. Please view the OADC EDI Committee Charter here to learn more about our practices. 

People, EDI, and Engagement Initiative
The People, EDI, and Engagement Initiative, to be led by the inaugural People & EDI Advocate, is committed to EDI and belonging, transforming organizational culture, and building a collaborative community. The OADC has been working with the guidance of Wings UpRising's EDI consultants throughout this past year to strive forward in this commitment. This Initiative supports OADC’s EDI work, influencing changes in policies and practices and serving as a conduit to instill and interweave EDI and belonging throughout OADC’s internal and external actions. The People and EDI Advocate will collaborate closely with the OADC’s EDI Committee under this Initiative and the OADC community at large. 

OADC's Guiding Principles & Key Concepts We Honor in this Work

Equity is an approach that ensures everyone has access to the same opportunities.

Improving equity is to promote justice, impartiality, and fairness within the procedures, processes, and distribution of resources by institutions or systems. It is a process that acknowledges uneven starting places and seeks to correct the imbalance. Tackling equity issues requires an understanding of the underlying or root causes of outcome disparities within our society.

Equity is distinct from equality in that equality is treating everyone “the same,” but it only works if everyone starts from the same place and all need the same help. Equity makes the necessary adjustments to ensure inclusive experiences and fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all.

The quality of being different or unique at the individual or group level.

Diversity is all the ways in which people differ and all the characteristics that make one individual or group distinct from another. While diversity is often spoken of in terms of race or ethnicity, it includes a spectrum as “diverse” as one can imagine, that which reflects each of us as individuals.

Diversity can be more or less apparent, external or internal, and is valued in all dimensions. This can include age, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, language differences, nationality, parental status, physical, mental, and developmental abilities, race, religion, sexual orientation, skin color, socio-economic status, work and behavior styles, the perspectives of each individual shaped by their nation, experiences, and culture—and more.

Valuing the perspectives and contributions of all people and ensuring a safe, affirming, respectful and responsive environment.

Diversity exists in social systems, while inclusion must be created. To leverage diversity, an environment must be created where people feel supported, listened to, and able to do their personal best. Every person’s voice adds value. No one person can or should be called upon to represent an entire community.

Accessibility ensures equitable and effective access to services, spaces, education/information, programs, and technology for all people along the continuum of ability and experience.

The Executive Order on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce (June 25, 2021) - The term “accessibility” means the design, construction, development, and maintenance of facilities, information and communication technology, programs, and services so that all people, including people with disabilities, can fully and independently use them.  Accessibility includes the provision of accommodations and modifications to ensure equal access to employment and participation in activities for people with disabilities, the reduction or elimination of physical and attitudinal barriers to equitable opportunities, a commitment to ensuring that people with disabilities can independently access every outward-facing and internal activity or electronic space, and the pursuit of best practices such as universal design.

Belonging is intentionally creating an environment where all feel welcomed, acknowledged, and respected. It is an environment where everyone is treated like and feels like a full member of the larger community, where they can thrive. When individuals feel a sense of belonging, they feel safe to bring their authentic selves to work. Creating belonging means that all people perceive they have a seat at the table and feel heard and seen.

Lived Experience is defined as personal knowledge about the world gained through direct, first-hand involvement in everyday events rather than through representations constructed by others. Lived experience confers a frame of reference, skills, abilities, and viewpoints arising from specific events.

Also, please visit our Racial Justice Resources page. 




07 May 2024
OADC Seeking Greater Colorado and Inclusivity Social Work Fellows We are excited to announce that Th...
02 April 2024
The OADC is overseen by a nine-member Commission that meets about three times a year, with one meeti...

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