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Darjene Graham-Perez

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Manager at Walden Family Services

Dr. Darjené is responsible for leading and developing all DE&I programs & initiatives, people  operation functions (HR), and partners alongside C-Suite executives for strategic organizational and  visionary planning. Dr. Darjené Graham-Perez, transitioned from Early Childhood Education and  Educational Leadership into Human Resources as the Director of People & Culture at Walden Family  Services. Throughout her time in Early Childhood Administration, she found her love and passion for the  DE&I space exclusively, which propelled her for her new endeavor into Human Resources specializing in  not for profit organizations. 


Currently, at Walden Family Services, she has transformed several policies to be more inclusive  and equitable for all employees. 

To highlight her accomplishments:  

• Dr. Darjené served as the first-ever  at WFS and was  quickly promoted to lead the entire HR department as the new Director of People & Culture. • Dr. Darjené leads the Walden Wellness Committee for the entire organization, successfully  launched the first Diversity & Inclusion Council, and launched much needed employee  resource groups such as Former Foster Youth Employees and the Rainbow Connection for the  LGBTQ+ Employees. 

• She has since developed and established an internship partnership with California University  of Science and Medicine “CHANGE” Program. This program is designed so that the medical  students can gain real-life, hands-on experiences in working in local communities through a  health equity lens.  

• She established the first ever HBCU internship pipeline with Howard University for Master  level social worker students to train and study under our Licensed Clinical Social Workers at  WFS. 

• In the last 2 years, she increased and diversified candidate recruitment by 20% to bring on  candidates that reflected the diverse communities Walden Family Services. 

• Dr. Darjené leads and facilitates multiple Diversity, Equity & Inclusion network circles  throughout San Diego / Riverside County, CA. 

• Developed a robust diversity training program to build capacity for the leaders in the  organization. Throughout her time here, she has truly been able to provide insight into different perspectives and leverage her skills to position Walden Family Services as a leading  organization that is truly about the people and achieving the mission of creating a welcoming  and inclusive workplace environment for all. 

• Dr. Darjené was selected and represented WFS at the Family Focused Treatment Association  in 2022 as an “Emerging Black Leader” among foster family and adoption agencies nation wide. 

• This year she recognized as “2023 Top 50 Black Leaders of Influence” and “2023 HR &  Diversity” Honoree in the San Diego Business Journal. 

Outside of her many contributions to Walden Family Services, Dr. Darjené volunteers her time by  serving on two local non-profit Board of Directors - MAAC & Lifeline Community Services. In 2015, Dr.  Darjené was the first African American woman to serve on MAAC’s Board of Directors and is currently the  Chair of the Child Development Committee and previously served on the executive committee as the  Secretary for two years. In March 2022, she joined Lifeline Community Services Board of Directors and serves as the Vice President on the Executive Committee. Dr. Darjené is also a member of Delta Sigma  Theta Sorority, Inc. and Jack & Jill of America, Inc.