The city of Lansing has a new diversity officer within the department of Human Relations and Community Services. Guadalupe Ayala has served as Lansing’s Equal Opportunity Specialist since 2015.
Her new duties include implementing Mayor Andy Schor’s Racial Justice and Equity Alliance community action plan, prompted by the death of George Floyd and racial unrest this summer.
Ayala has been in Lansing for 20 years and lived in El Salvador before that. She says being bilingual will help in this new job. “We have a large refugee and immigrant population," Ayala explains, "so it is very important for me, and it’s not just knowing the language, but knowing the culture.”
“We have about 12 work groups that are focusing on different areas," Ayala concludes, "and we have a survey out on our website where we’re asking to be distributed so we can get as many voices and opinions or recommendations as possible.”
Ayala will also represent the city on diversity issues with federal, state and professional organizations.