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New Office of Equity and Inclusion Appointees Will Expand Impact of Anti-Racism Work, Data Analysis, and Tribal Government Outreach

Public invited to meet new team, learn more about the City’s Equity & Inclusion, Civil Rights and Consumer Protection work at an open house tomorrow

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.  The Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI), a first-of-its-kind office launched by Mayor Tim Keller to make Albuquerque and city government more inclusive and representative of the community, is growing. Thanks to grant funds from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, OEI is welcoming four new staff dedicated to equity training and communication, data analysis and partnership development.

The public is invited to meet the new staff and learn more about the work of this groundbreaking office at an open house tomorrow hosted by the Office of Equity and Inclusion with the Office of Civil Rights and the Consumer Finance Protection Initiative on December 10th from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. To RSVP your attendance for the event please contact 505-768-3491.

The new staff members are:

  • Dawn Begay as Native American Affairs Coordinator
  • Giovianna Burrell as Communications and Culture Change Leader
  • Andrea Calderon as Race and Equity Data Analyst
  • Terry Sloan as Intergovernmental Tribal Liaison between the Mayor’s Office and Tribes

In addition, Mariela Ruiz-Angel’s position as Immigrant and Refugee Coordinator has been institutionalized as a permanent position within the Office of Equity and Inclusion’s Immigrant and Refugee Affairs section.

“With this team joining our existing staff, we will have more capacity to train and work with city employees on various Diversity/Equity/Inclusion topics, including providing anti-racism training and expanding language access,” said Michelle Melendez, inaugural Director of the Office of Equity and Inclusion. “Our team is helping to create government to government relationships with the surrounding tribes and Pueblos and building our community partnerships. Together we examine indicators of economic and social inclusion to help our City use data and lived experiences of people to ensure our systems and programs serve all people.”

The Office trained 1,000 city employees in 2019 and is gearing up for more racial equity and implicit bias training in 2020. As well, the Office has helped several departments expand and improve access to language interpreter services to ensure people of all backgrounds have access to city services.

“The work coming out of the Office of Equity and Inclusion since its creation last year has been a vital part of making Albuquerque and our city government more inclusive,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “We understand that equity work is not solely done through an office but a collective committed to tearing down historically oppressive systems. The expansion of OEI will help us move the needle a bit farther in our equity and inclusion work.”

Native American Affairs Coordinator Dawn Begay

Begay is Diné of the Navajo Nation. In April 2019, she started with the City of Albuquerque Office of Equity and Inclusion as the Native American Affairs Coordinator. Prior to working with the City, she worked as the Program Manager and Lead Case Manager for First Nations Community Health Source Homeless Outreach Program. She is a UNM graduate who has a Bachelor’s degree in Native American Studies and Political Science from the University of New Mexico and is aspiring to complete her Master’s degree.

Communications and Culture Change Leader Giovianna Burrell

Burrell holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Family Studies with a Minor in Dance and will complete her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership with Distinction this month both from the University of New Mexico. She has worked in the field of education for over 10 years in various settings from public/community schools to non-profit. Her recent prior work was with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central New Mexico developing and managing educational programming for teens and young adults. Burrell has also facilitated many workshops/trainings on equity, inclusion, and self-liberation. She enjoys creating healthy spaces to dialogue about critical topics.


Race and Equity Data Analyst Andrea Calderon

Calderón previously worked as the Youth Sustainability Coordinator at the City of Baltimore Department of Planning Office of Sustainability, where she co-founded the agency’s Equity in Planning Committee. Her time in Baltimore included almost a decade’s worth of work in Baltimore’s Green Schools Initiative and supporting parents, students and community members that are English language learners. She also provides services other agencies focused on process and resource distribution shifts through agency-specific equity analysis.

Intergovernmental Tribal Liaison Terry Sloan

Sloan is a Navajo and Hopi Native American from Tuba City, Arizona born in Shiprock, New Mexico. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of New Mexico. Sloan has extensive experience with building effective day-to-day, government-to government working relationship with the five neighboring Tribes and subsequently all NM Tribes and the City of Albuquerque, acknowledge, recognize and support Tribal Sovereignty and Tribal Self-Determination and building a government-to-government relationship respectful of Tribal culture and Native/Indigenous American Human Rights.


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.