Redwood City appoints first Equity and Inclusion Officer

in Community

Redwood City has appointed Briana Evans as the city’s first Equity and Inclusion Officer, who will “work with the City Council and staff to develop an Equity Workplan that brings an equity lens in the provision of all City services,” the city announced Monday.

Redwood City recently made equity a guiding principle in its strategic plan. It is among a number of steps the city has attempted to address community calls for police reform and racial justice following the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.

Evans began in her new role on Dec. 14.

“Redwood City has a rich history of community engagement and welcoming all in our community. With the City Council’s support for this new position, we can increase our focus on diversity, equity and inclusion in both policy making and City operations,” said City Manager Melissa Stevenson Diaz.

Evans, a Stanford University alumnus with a Master’s degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology and a Bachelor’s degree in Medical Anthropology, most recently worked as an equity design strategist with Reflex Design Collaborative, a consulting firm that uses collaboration to co-design solutions that improve social equity, according to the city’s statement. She previously supported San Mateo County Health’s Office of Diversity and Equity to design organizational change strategies and coach community leaders on inclusiveness within the behavioral health system, and also helped lead a local cohort from the Government Alliance for Race and Equity.

“My passion is ensuring everyone has a voice and can contribute their best to the world,” Evans said in the statement. “I believe in the wisdom and strength of communities, including those that have been marginalized for generations. I am looking forward to supporting and challenging Redwood City to listen, hear, and act on systems change, inclusion, and community engagement that builds with communities, not for them.”

Photo courtesy of the City of Redwood City