Joyce James began her professional career as a Child Protective Services (CPS) caseworker. She has established an impressive 39-year history in leading and supporting efforts for addressing institutional and structural racism in systems. She has a powerful story of her journey from CPS caseworker to Assistant Commissioner of Texas CPS, to Associate Deputy Executive Commissioner of the Center for Elimination of Disproportionality and Disparities (CEDD) and the Texas State Office of Minority Health, at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, serving in that capacity from September 2010 to October 2013.
CEDD was created by HHSC Executive Commissioner Tom Suehs out of recognition of Ms. James’ strong and effective leadership and his desire to expand the Texas Model for Addressing Disproportionality and Disparities (Texas Model) to all HHS agencies and programs.
“At the heart of all our programs and services, we’re about people,” Suehs said. “And we want to make sure that every person is treated with respect and dignity. Joyce has been a pioneer in helping improve equity in our protective services programs and we want to put that same focus on all our HHS agencies’.
Ms. James’ knowledge and expertise as told through her story about her personal struggle and journey to find the courage to speak out on institutional and structural racism and her role in creating a movement across the entire state of Texas to increase the knowledge and understanding of leaders in systems and communities about institutionalized racism, as the underlying cause of the disproportionality and disparities, is widely recognized in Texas and across the Country.
Ms. James is currently President and CEO of Joyce James Consulting, LLC (JJC) where she is the lead racial equity consultant. JJC provides technical assistance, support, training, and leadership development to multiple systems, institutions, and community-based organizations across the Country. JJC uses the Groundwater Analysis” to help systems implement the original Texas Model. The Model has proven effective in moving systems towards a racial equity lens, reducing disproportionality and disparities for vulnerable populations, and improving overall outcomes for all.
Ms. James is the 2016 recipient of Texans Care for Children Founders Award in recognition of her ‘fearless leadership and fierce commitment’ to children in Texas. She received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letter, in May 2017, from University of Saint Joseph’s in Hartford Connecticut.