Is A Diverse Workforce Enough?


Tuesday, February 27, 2024
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Session Type: Workshop

In 2024, our global community looks very different. but many things remain the same as they were over 20 years ago. This presentation will explore the efforts involved in attaining a diverse workforce. We will examine hiring philosophies, staff involvement and training while understanding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) strategies that will enable organizations to give employees a sense of belonging, cultivating a culture dismantling groupthink where one has the space for honest conversations without judgement.


Ms. Malkia Crowder
Probation Director, Contra Costa County Probation

Malkia Crowder She has over 24 years of experience in juvenile and adult community corrections. She oversees the day-to-day administration of all facility programs and operations, with approximately 160 under her leadership. Ms. Crowder grew up in the inner city of Richmond, Ca, and witnessed many tragedies in her family, which led her to a career in Probation, and she has never turned back. She is passionate about her work and continues to break down barriers to success for staff and clients. She is a facilitator for the Supervisor Leadership Academy for the Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC) and the Training Coordinator for the California Association of Probation Institution Administrators (CAPIA). In addition, she is a part of the Contra Costa County Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee and Co-Authored an article for the American Probation Parole Association (APPA) on Implicit Bias, titled "Implicit Bias: What is it and How does it Affect Us?" Ms. Crowder maintains strong connections to her community and is committed to collaborating with other justice partners. She is the proud mom of 2 sons and enjoys traveling near and far with her family.

Jessica Katharine Fort
Assistant Chief Probation Officer, Marin County Probation

Jessica Fort is currently the Assistant Chief Probation Officer for Marin County Probation. She began her career in Probation in 1997. Over the course of her career, she has worked in Marin, San Francisco, and Alameda County. The majority of her career has been in adult probation working closely with justice-involved individuals who have been impacted by being in underserved communities with co-occurring diseases such as addiction and mental health issues. She fosters a strong relationship with the Court systems and community collaborative partners. She developed a passion for working with justice-involved youth as it gave her an opportunity to provide support to youth and families that struggle with trauma largely stemming from a lack of access to resources. Her own family experiences have given her an intimate understanding of the impact poverty, drugs, violence, incarceration, and a lack of resources and opportunities destroy families and communities. The legacy of her career is to move Probation from being a passive participant to actively being a protective strength for marginalized communities. Working with community advocates and our law enforcement partners, probation should be the voice of social justice that embodies accountability, reform, and opportunity.