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City’s Equity & Inclusion Director Selected for National Equity Network

Michelle Melendez one of only 10 nationwide selected for Chief Equity Officer Policy Network, a national cohort of leaders developing equity-focused policies.

Oct. 1, 2019

The City of Albuquerque’s Equity & Inclusion Director Michelle Melendez has been selected to join the national Chief Equity Officer Policy Network. She is one of ten equity leaders nationwide selected for the cohort. The network is part of the All-In Cities initiative and PolicyLink, in partnership with the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE).

“We launched the Office of Equity and Inclusion to build a more inclusive city where people from all walks of life can participate in our community, and in our government. With Michelle’s appointment as one of only ten in the country to join this policy network, Albuquerque is on track to being a national leader in inclusion. This is a great opportunity to elevate our city and bring more resources to our efforts,” said Mayor Tim Keller.

Melendez is a native of Albuquerque with more than 18 years’ experience in community development, leadership development, and advocacy addressing the social determinants of health and their policy antecedents. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor’s in Communication.

“Our work in the Office of Equity and Inclusion taps into a community of dedicated social justice, economic development, and public health champions to help the City of Albuquerque embrace equity as a guiding principle,” said Melendez. She added, “I look forward to sharing the progress we have made and bringing innovative policies and practices on equity back home to help us further dismantle racial, economic, and social injustice.”

The network is a new 18-month intensive community of practice to expand the work of chief equity officers and support them in becoming transformational leaders. Leaders will be a part of a learning community that targets population-level outcomes and shares strategies that lead to policy reforms that expand opportunity for low-income communities and people of color. The community of practice will help local governments leverage the leadership of equity officers to advance equitable policies, inform the broader field of practice, and formulate standards for other local government equity initiatives.

Network members will receive travel support to participate in three-to-four in-person convenings, and conference support to join regular webinars and conference calls. New members will convene on November 18-19 for the first in-person convening in San Antonio. They will also attend the National League of Cities’ City Summit from November 20-23.

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The mission of the Office of Equity and Inclusion is to inspire and equip city government to make Albuquerque a national role model for embracing diversity as our greatest asset. The office was created as part of Mayor Tim Keller’s vision to build a more inclusive Albuquerque. The Office of Equity and Inclusion is a recipient of a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Grant, furthering our efforts to increase equity across all indicators and diversity in the City’s workforce.