Volunteers of America Ohio & Indiana Welcomes New Executive Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Ministry: Janai Downs


Janai Downs

Volunteers of America Ohio & Indiana (VOAOHIN) is pleased to welcome Janai Downs as the Executive Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Ministry.

In Downs’ new role as EVP of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI), and Ministry, she will serve as a cross-functional advisor and be responsible for long-range DEI planning and implementation and lead the vision of VOAOHIN’s Ministry Services.

In this role, she will partner with employees and executive leadership across the agency to lead a holistic effort to cultivate a more diverse workforce and ensure a more inclusive culture while promoting the ministry. She will focus on expanding the presence of DEI within communities served by the agency.

“Volunteers of America is thrilled to have Janai Downs join the team and continue to strategize and implement the importance of inclusion of all people and our vision of ministry. Janai’s background provides the perfect balance to be successful in this role by providing leadership for the advancement of DEI and ministry efforts."

John R. von Arx III
President & CEO
Volunteers of America Ohio & Indiana

Downs comes to Volunteers of America from Eastern Star Church in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving most recently as the Director of Christian Education and Discipleship. She is a licensed Minister. Her commitment to ministry and DEI is demonstrated through her service on the Equal Opportunity Advisory Board, appointed by the Indianapolis City Council, the Black Alumni Association at Butler University, membership in the Indianapolis Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., being a Founding Member of the African American Legacy Fund, and serving on the Justice Resource Center Advisory Panel at Christian Theological Seminary.  

Downs is a graduate of Butler University with a degree in Public Relations and will complete her Masters of Divinity degree in May 2022 from Christian Theological Seminary.  

There is something priceless about embracing diversity to the extent of creating a work culture of inclusion, where voices are valued and our love for one another, our clients, and our communities is reflective of a loving God.”

Janai Downs
Executive Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Ministry
Volunteers of America Ohio & Indiana

About Volunteers of America Ohio & Indiana
Volunteers of America is one of the nation’s largest, established comprehensive human services organizations with 16,000 mission-driven professionals, dedicated to helping those in need rebuild their lives and reach their full potential. Founded in 1896, the faith-based nonprofit has programs in 46 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, and serves more than 1.5 million people a year.

At Volunteers of America Ohio & Indiana, we are dedicated to helping people achieve well-being by offering hope, restoring dignity, and transforming lives, to ensure communities thrive. For 125 years, we have been uplifting individuals, families, and communities including veterans, homeless individuals and families, men and women returning home after incarceration, and those recovering and healing from addiction. Our work touches the mind, body, heart – and ultimately the spirit – of those we serve, integrating our deep compassion with highly effective programs and services. To learn more about our work, visit www.voaohin.org.