Va. first in nation to open Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within Dept. of Emergency Management
CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - Virginia is the first state in the country to open an Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within a state’s Department of Emergency Management (VDEM).
The office is located at VDEM’s headquarters in Chesterfield.
The new office will “provide subject matter expertise, strategic leadership, and technical assistance to VDEM staff, partners, and key stakeholders on best practices for ensuring emergency management plans are equitable and prioritize vulnerable and at-risk populations before, during, and after disasters.”
VDEM said the new office has been critical in its response and daily operations, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The office will ensure that communities that are historically disproportionately impacted by disasters receive the needed support and resources.
“VDEM is proud to be a national leader when it comes to integrating DEI principles into emergency management,” said State Coordinator Curtis Brown. “Recent updates to the Code of Virginia tasks VDEM with the responsibility of providing guidance to local governments and establishing the Emergency Management Equity Work Group. The opening of this office will be critical to the success of these important responsibilities and I look forward to the great work and innovation that will come from our ODEI.”
Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.
Want NBC12’s top stories in your inbox each morning? Subscribe here.