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City names new director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

'I was born to do this job,' Yamile Nazar says.

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The city of Fayetteville has appointed Yamile Nazar as the new director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for the Fayetteville-Cumberland Human Relations Department.

She started in her new role Monday.

Nazar had been serving as the interim director of the Fayetteville-Cumberland Human Relations Commission.

The director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is an expanded function of that position for the city, a news release said, signaling the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

“I told everybody, and I continue to tell everybody, I was born to do this job,” Nazar said Wednesday. “I tell people this is a calling for me. I’ve been doing human relations and DEI work my entire life. Even as a child, I was mediating conflicts on the streets of my neighborhood.”

She said she pursued the job, calling it a competitive process.

“Yamile has consistently demonstrated her ability to move us forward both as an organization and as a community with positive solutions, and I am confident this new role will allow her to continue advocating for equity and opportunity on behalf of all residents,” Fayetteville City Manager Doug Hewett said in the release.

Nazar’s annual salary will start at $120,000.

In the role, Nazar “will be responsible for the department’s existing programs and services which includes support for the Fayetteville-Cumberland Human Relations Commission and Fair Housing Board,” the city said in the release.

“She will also be broadening existing efforts – both internally and externally – through the implementation of innovative strategies supporting positive human relations and opportunities for all,” the release said.

Nazar said, “So I still have all the Human Relations duties. But if you know anything about Human Resources, a lot of my other duties are going to include internal assistance with DEI. Which is mostly what Human Resources used to do. But the DEI process is very concentrated on diversity, equity and inclusion, and helping us reach certain goals and certain objectives.”

A native of New York City, Nazar has been with the Fayetteville-Cumberland Human Relations Department since April 2017.

Before that, she worked as an investigator and mediator in the Attorney General’s Office in the state of New York and the Suffolk County (N.Y.) Department of Law.

She first relocated to North Carolina in 1999 to work as an investigator for the city of Greensboro’s Human Relations Department. Five years later, Nazar had been promoted to division manager of the department.

She also served as a community engagement professional for the Durham County Library.

In 2021, Nazar graduated from Cornell University’s Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program. She received her certification as a U.S. Army Equal Employment Opportunity counselor in 2017.

She earned her bachelor of arts in criminal justice and a master of public administration, both from Long Island University.

“Her leadership and expertise throughout the City SPIRIT process has been exemplary," Hewett said in the release, "making it clear she was the right person to fill this critical role.”

The City SPIRIT process, which is overseen by the Department of Justice, is being used to gather recommendations on how to repurpose the Market House.

Michael Futch covers Fayetteville and education for CityView TODAY. He can be reached at mfutch@cityviewnc.com. Have a news tip? Email news@CityViewTODAY.com.

Fayetteville, diversity, equity, inclusion, Yamile Nazar

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