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Equity & Inclusion Workgroup Aims to Establish Action Plan


As part of Buncombe County’s newly established strategic plan, equity has been identified as an organizational value and foundational focus area. We define equity as systems, policies, and practices that support equity for all people and an organizational culture that embraces diversity and inclusion. Our commitment is that the work of Buncombe County staff and the Board will be conducted with an equity lens. Our goals for this strategic plan focus area are to:

  • Ensure policies and practices eliminate barriers and allow for equitable opportunity
  • Ensure representative and inclusive practices are reflected in decision making

To help us achieve success in this area, Buncombe County established an internal Equity and Inclusion Workgroup to focus on equity throughout the organization. With facilitation support from Performance Management as well as Cortina Jenelle, the group is grounding its work in national and local disparity data, stories, and culture. A primary goal of the group is to develop an Equity Action Plan.

Group members include:

  • Alex McKnight, Emergency Services
  • Alexandra Duncan, Libraries
  • Cattleya Gaines, Register of Deeds
  • Chris Bubenik, Recreation Services
  • DK Wesley, County Management
  • Danitza Earls, Information Technology
  • Haylee Madfis, Planning
  • Jacqueline Brannon, Health & Human Services
  • Kristin Wilson, Health & Human Services
  • Lee Crayton, Performance Management
  • Leonard Jones, Health & Human Services
  • Lynn Smith, County Management
  • Merry Michalsen, Human Resources
  • Rachael Nygaard, Strategic Partnerships
  • Rasheeda McDaniels, Communications & Public Engagement
  • Rusty Mau, Budget
  • Sharon Burke, Human Resources
  • Tiffany Iheanacho, Justice Services
  • Zo Mpofu, Health & Human Services

Stay tuned for updates about this work and future opportunities for employee engagement. If you have questions, please reach out to executive sponsor DK Wesley or team leads Lynn Smith, Rachael Nygaard, or Sharon Burke.