In her first week on the job as Asheville’s first Equity and Inclusion Manager Kimberlee Archie has jumped right in, meeting City staff and sitting in on meetings where equity may factor into programs and policies.
In doing so, she’s building a network, what she calls a core group to help with the City’s equity and inclusion focus.
“My role is to listen and learn right now and understand what departments, program and policies have been doing as far as equity and inclusion are concerned,” she said.
Along with introductions and early meetings, Archie is working to identify employees in various City departments interested in equity work from their departmental perspective.
“I can’t do this all by myself,” she said. “I hope to create core team of people who will help to implement equity across the City’s departments.”
Some of the tasks ahead of Archie include defining a racial equity framework for the City and developing a racial equity tool for the City.
Look for her to attend some upcoming community meetings, where she will help encourage inclusion in community discussions. “I plan on meeting as many people as possible, learning about what they are doing out in their community and finding where our work will align and places we can work together,
And please, when you see her, introduce yourself!
“Everyone has been very welcoming, whether it’s City employees that I’ve met or when I’m out on the street, or when I’ve gone shopping or to a restaurant,” she said. “I love that people speak to each other up here. Folks seem pretty friendly.”
Even though she’s just begun, Archie said she had a productive week the first week in.
“I jumped right in — didn’t ask permission — and gave suggestions and participated in meetings when I felt like I could,” she said.
Kimberlee Archie’s office is on the fifth floor of City Hall. She can be reached at KArchie@ashevillenc.gov or 828-232-4517.