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Staff Biography

Charmaine Utz, LCSW
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Strategist

Charmaine Utz is the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Strategist at the Academy for Professional Excellence, where she plays an integral role in bringing the Academy together to help us achieve our commitment to holistically integrate anti-racism, recovery-oriented, and trauma-informed best practices into our work. Charmaine oversees and operationalizes the Academy’s diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic goals, and establishes collaborative and trusting relationships with staff to ensure there is a free flow of ideas and information that support our DEI commitments. She provides consultation across the Academy and facilitates training and coaching to Academy employees and customers. Charmaine also partners with the broader Strategy & Outcomes team to ensure we appropriately use data to inform our decisions and share impact.

Charmaine has worked in the nonprofit sector for nearly 15 years, during which she served as a subject matter expert on issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Her work has focused on leadership & administration, program development, staff training and coaching, leadership development, and team building. She blends organizational health and strategic planning with an approach that invites people to engage in courageous conversations to re(build) relationships, trust, and safety between all levels of employees.

Charmaine founded Living Unapologetically, a consulting firm that helps businesses build and sustain equitable work cultures. She is the creator of the BiasWork™ self-exploration curriculum and author of Bias-Conscious Leadership: A Framework for Leading with Action and Accountability. Charmaine also owns a small private practice based in Long Beach and San Diego, CA where she provides therapy to adults and partners and actively contributes to the field of mental health by facilitating conference workshops/community trainings, and coaching clinicians who want to establish their own inclusive approaches.

Charmaine Utz has a BA in Psychology from California State University, Los Angeles, and a Master Degree in Social Work, with an emphasis on community mental health, Critical Race Theory, and Intersectionality from California State University, Dominguez Hills.

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