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UMD Libraries names inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer

The DEI Officer will lead and manage the development, implementation and integration of best practices, resources and trends to increase inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility throughout UMD Libraries.

“I hope to be a catalyst for a procedural, cultural and operational shift towards a more inclusive, equitable and accessible workplace.”

Nneka Chisholm-Edwards (she/her) has been named UMD Libraries’ first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Officer.

A member of the Libraries Human Resources team since 2017, Chisholm-Edwards supported organizational programing and professional development in her role as the Coordinator for Organizational Development and Learning. Additionally, as a member, and later co-chair, of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) committee, she furthered IDEA initiatives and trainings throughout the libraries.

In this role, Chisholm-Edwards gained a greater appreciation for the role and impact of library faculty and staff. As the gatekeepers of the information and services they have tremendous influence on research quality  while ensuring informational access and intellectual freedom. This understanding drives Chisholm-Edwards' work and underscores the importance of integrating IDEA principles and belonging into the Libraries’ daily operations.

The DEI Officer position will allow Chisholm-Edwards to pursue her passion for driving a culture that “walks the talk” of accessibility, diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.

To her new role, Chisholm-Edwards brings deep experience in consultation, program development, facilitation, and diversity related initiatives. Her experience is complimented by her educational credentials, she holds a BS in business administration, an MBA, and is currently a PhD candidate in the Language, Literature & Culture program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Chisholm-Edwards plans to engage library employees to assess the current status of cultural attitudes and identify areas where policies and procedures could be improved. By collecting stories and suggestions regarding IDEA related issues, Chisholm-Edwards hopes to facilitate a continual  exchange of experiences and solutions,while underscoring the shared responsibility to address DEI in everyday operations.

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