Deputy Diversity & Inclusion Officer, City of Philadelphia
Nefertiri Sickout is part of Philadelphia’s team of city employees driving Racial Equity Here, a two-year effort working to apply a racial equity lens to municipal operations. Philadelphia has acknowledged racial disparities and devised actionable solutions that focus on addressing them in a systemic and transformative manner. Philadelphia’s new Racial Equity Action Plan identifies five desired results: decreasing racial disparities throughout the building trades; increasing employment opportunities for youth of color; improving customer services to communities of color, especially related to poor housing conditions and blight; addressing the disproportionate negative impacts of tobacco use among youth of color; and building racial equity skills and infrastructure among Philadelphia’s more than 30,000 city employees. Sickout’s contributions to the team have helped put bold and courageous policies and practices in place that seek to permanently eliminate racial disparities, transform the City into a more racially equitable environment and achieve social progress in promoting opportunities so that every Philadelphian thrives.
Sickout currently serves as Deputy to the Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer of the City of Philadelphia. Established in January 2016 by Mayor James F. Kenney, the Office of Diversity & Inclusion is responsible for leading Mayor Kenney’s diversity agenda, including the ongoing development and delivery of a systemic plan to make the City’s workforce better represent the diverse population of its citizenry; to support and increase opportunities for minority, women and disabled-owned businesses to contract with the City; and to advance policies that promote racially equitable outcomes across City operations and services. As a longstanding advocate of effective policies and programs that address structural barriers to equitable access and opportunity, particularly around issues that affect the well-being of vulnerable children, Sickout first obtained a B.A. in psychology from Clark Atlanta University, followed by master degrees in infant special education and developmental psychology from George Washington University and Teachers College, Columbia University, respectively, and finally a law degree from Villanova University School of Law. Sickout also managed several community-based programs targeted towards high-quality early childhood education, child abuse and neglect prevention, and other social advocacy programs designed to help promote positive outcomes and facilitate equitable opportunity for children and families from socioeconomically disadvantaged communities.
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