Mayor Chris Beutler today announced the selection of Kimberley Taylor-Riley, an Omaha attorney, as the new Director of Equity and Diversity, effective February 8. In this position, she will serve as Director of the Lincoln Commission on Human Rights (LCHR) and also will serve as the City's Equal Employment Opportunity Officer. Her annual salary will be $65,000.
"We are very excited to have Ms. Taylor-Riley on board," said Mayor Beutler. "She brings a demonstrated commitment and passion for human rights to this position, and I look forward to working with her."
Riley, a graduate of Omaha Benson High School, operates a private law practice in Omaha. She earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Nebraska - Omaha and her law degree at Creighton University.
"It is truly an honor to be selected by the Mayor to serve such an important role in his administration," Taylor-Riley said. "Having so recently celebrated the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I can think of no better way to honor his memory then to embark upon such an important and necessary function. I eagerly anticipate serving the Mayor and the residents of the City of Lincoln in this capacity."
The nine-member LCHR acts as an advisory body to the Mayor and City Council. It is charged with the responsibility of eliminating and preventing discrimination in places of public accommodation, housing and employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, national origin, familial status, ancestry, age or marital status. As the City's Equal Opportunity Officer, Taylor-Riley also will handle complaints from City employees alleging discrimination.
During the 2010-11 budget cycle, the City reorganized the Human Rights division when its director resigned. City Attorney Rod Confer and Senior Policy Aide to the Mayor Milo Mumgaard have served as the City's Interim Human Rights Director and Interim Equal Opportunity Officer respectively since that time.
Both the LCHR and the Mayor's Multicultural Advisory Committee (MAC) designated members to assist in the hiring process for the new Director of Equity and Diversity. "I want to thank both Gene Crump with the Commission and Amir Azimi with the MAC for their work throughout the last several months," Beutler said. "Their insights and experience were invaluable."
LCHR meetings are held at 4 p.m. on the last Thursday of each month in City Council Chambers, County-City Building, 555 S. 10th St. More information is available at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: human rights). The MAC meets at 4 pm on the second Tuesday of each month (September through May) in the Mayor's Conference Room of the County-City Building. Meetings of both groups are open to the public.