Family inspires Pride, GARE ambassadorship for Malisa Warner
For Malisa Warner, Pride holds personal meaning, thanks to her four children.
Pride Month recognizes the impact members of the LGBTQIA+ community have made on history locally, nationally, and internationally. It’s an opportunity to honor members of the community we have lost and to uplift LGBTQIA+ voices.
Warner is an Associate Governmental Program Analyst (AGPA) at California State Prison-Solano (SOL). She started her CDCR career in 2015 as an Office Technician. Warner now serves as Health Care Contract Analyst for SOL. She is also the mother of two transgender and two cisgender adult children. Their experience as a family inspired Warner to become an ambassador for the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE).
“I want to be part of creating a safe and inclusive environment for all, every day. I’d like to be a person who others can come to with open arms and no judgment,” she shared.
“My interest in becoming a GARE ambassador was to get a better understanding of what my children have gone through and are going through. I also want to be better educated in the community and be available to everybody.”
Warner’s role with GARE
CDCR/CCHCS GARE ambassadors help share information and personal experiences that foster an inclusive and culturally diverse workplace. They drive collaborative efforts to increase representation at all levels of the department. Her children agree this is work she is in a great position to excel at.
“I am very proud of all the work my mom has done as a GARE ambassador,” Shaine shared. “I have transgender siblings as well as other transgender friends and family. It means a lot that my mom is creating a safe and welcoming environment for everyone and for CDCR.”
Warner said challenges the family has faced include dealing with family and others who are not accepting of the LGBTQIA+ community. This includes correcting those who use inappropriate terms or spread misinformation – and remaining positive while doing so.
Warner shared how her work with GARE, and as an ally to her children and the LGBTQIA+ community at large, have had a positive impact on both her job and her relationships with others. She said she has learned to be a better listener, and to withhold judgment.
“It has been a learning and growing experience for me as well,” she said. “I’m grateful for my children and their patience with me. They are the greatest gift.”
CDCR and CCHCS are committed to creating supportive spaces and alliances for our LGBTQIA+ community and to being supportive of all individuals in our communities, both inside and outside of state prisons.
CDCR/CCHCS GARE has established a web page of LGBTQIA+ resources to share with employees and their family. Visit the site at https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/gare/lgbtqia/
To encourage employees to expand their knowledge and gain new experiences, CDCR/CCHCS GARE Ambassadors are sharing celebrations throughout the year.