City of Oklahoma City hires first Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer

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Shalynne Jackson

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The City of Oklahoma City has found its first Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer.

City administrators hired Shalynne Jackson, an experienced diversity and inclusion professional, as the City’s first Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer.

“It’s an honor to be selected as the first person filling this role at the City of Oklahoma City,” Jackson said. “I am passionate about cultivating a culture of equity that promotes authenticity, access and advancement. I look forward to partnering with leaders across the organization to drive meaningful change that enriches the lives of employees and the community alike.”

Jackson is tasked with leading the execution of the city’s strategy for diversity, equity and inclusion, including providing training, implementing best practices and providing coaching, guidance and education, according to a City of Oklahoma City news release.

City Manager Craig Freeman announced the hiring of Jackson. Feb. 1 is her official starting date. She will report to Freeman and work alongside staff from the Human Resources Department, City Manager’s Office and the rest of the city workforce, according to the news release.

“We’re so fortunate to have found a candidate as perfectly qualified as Shalynne to be our first Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer,” said Freeman. “She has a wealth of experience in the field, which will serve our workforce and community well as we make intentional progress toward being more inclusive and ensuring our workplace is equitable for all employees.”

The new position was included in the 2021 fiscal year’s city budget.

Jackson, an Oklahoma native who earned a master’s degree in human relations from the University of Oklahoma, will relocate to the metro from Arkansas, where she moved to for a job. She worked as an independent consultant and senior labor relations manager at a major discount retailer.

She has specialized in diversity and inclusion since 2015 and brings extensive experience implementing strategic diversity and inclusion programs and processes and practices.

Jackson has also served on various boards and received numerous awards and recognition for her work in diversity and inclusion, including Oklahoma’s inaugural OKHR Diversity, Equity and Inclusion award.

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