Oak Park hires ex-Denver administrator as village diversity director – Chicago Tribune

A former Denver diversity and equity administrator started Monday in a similar role for the Village of Oak Park.

“Danielle Walker, Ph.D., is the newest member of the Village leadership team and will be responsible for collaboratively developing and driving organization-wide equity and inclusion strategies. of the Village, including the development of a racial equity action plan and the implementation of the Village’s racial equity toolkit,” Oak Park officials said in a statement from press announcing Walker’s hiring.

Officials said Walker is stepping into the newly created role of chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, a position she officially started on Monday.

According to the village press release, Walker held a comparable position for the Denver City and County Attorney’s Office, where, according to the release, she was the first person to hold the title of Administrator of the equity, diversity and inclusion.

“I am pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Danielle Walker to lead the very important work of institutionalizing diversity, equity and inclusion in our Village Government,” said Kevin Jackson, Village Manager. of Oak Park. “Her extensive experience in leading, advising and advocating for the integration of diversity, equity and inclusion into organizational cultures and other workforce dynamics makes her uniquely qualified for this position.

The release says Walker’s professional background includes serving as a policy advisor for the Colorado Department of Health Care, Policy and Finance, with a focus on equity within the disability community. She has also spent nearly a decade researching strategies around diversity, equity and inclusion for a myriad of industries.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the Village of Oak Park and to continue my quest to integrate racial equity into organizations,” Walker said in the statement. “I have dedicated my career to equity and social justice which boldly lead to cultivating a fair and inclusive society for all voices, communities and people who have been left behind. I’m excited to continue on this path at Oak Park.

Walker received his Ph.D. with a focus on critical social issues in education from the University of Colorado-Denver, a master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Missouri, and completed his undergraduate studies there, earning a bachelor’s degree. in interdisciplinary studies.

Walker founded the Racism Lives Here initiative for higher education and received the NAACP Image Chairman’s Award for activism, the statement said.

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