Message from the Chief of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Dear Montgomery County Community -
I want to take this opportunity to share my excitement about being a part of the Montgomery County community.
I have had the pleasure of meeting with so many residents, community leaders and our staff to hear about some of the challenges and successes that mark the County government’s history. I have also witnessed the passion and pride that so many members of this community feel for this organization. One thing has quickly become apparent in the many conversations, messages, and emails that I have received over the past year — Montgomery County is invested in creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive place for all of its residents.
In more than three decades as a DEI professional, I have learned many things. But the one that is perhaps most important is that creating a more equitable and inclusive community is not about the quick fix, flashy substitution, or checking off boxes. It takes real work, over time, and the courage and fortitude to forge ahead when progress stalls and even the most modest goals seem unattainable. Change is difficult, threatening, and uncomfortable. But over time, if enough people come together in common purpose around important goals with both passion and determination, change is possible.
I am looking forward to continuing to meet with and hear from you. It is my sincere hope that we will engage the work ahead on topics such as oppression, racism, injustice, discrimination, gender inequities, ableism, and sexual identities, that we will be willing to participate in difficult, but courageous conversations. Coming together to share our varying and valuable points of view is how we will create the more inclusive Montgomery County that we all want to see.
Donna L. Richemond
Role of the Chief of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The Chief of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will work to enhance and strengthen system, programs, and learning in the County to ensure we have the best practices to work effectively, maintain the highest level of equity, and leverage differences with all employees, customer, and with the community.
The Chief of DEI will also work to improve outcomes through strategic planning, action, and assessment; ensure the delivery of culturally responsive services; and maintain successful partnerships with internal DEI champions and community organizations.
The Chief of DEI will work across the County, including County administration senior leadership, Human Resources, the DEI Committee, service providers, vendors, community partners and constituents to build a culture of genuine inclusion and belonging.
More specifically, the Chief of DEI will:
- Reinforce the County’s commitment to creating a more equitable Montgomery County government and County.
- Partner with County departments to build a workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve.
- Maintain a workplace culture that values inclusion and equity as both a process and outcome for those we serve.
- Partner with external organizations to dismantle institutional and structural barriers.
- Ensure the integration of diversity, equity, and inclusion into all County operations (County government’s policies, service delivery, distribution of resources, procurement, contracting community engagement, and significant strategic initiatives).
- Collect data and set measurements of accountability to identify progress or areas of opportunity.
- Facilitate training initiatives designed to increase awareness and support of equity and inclusion values.