City Manager Announces Appointment of Equity and Engagement Director

Today City Manager Dorothy Ann David announced that Rachel Joy has been appointed to the position of Equity and Engagement Director-Chief Equity Officer effective March 21, 2022. Ms. Joy currently serves as the City’s Community Relations Manager and Compliance Officer. She has worked for the City of Champaign since 2016.

In her position as Community Relations Manager, Ms. Joy provides leadership and professional guidance to the City organization on matters related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. She also aids Champaign’s residents and visitors by investigating and helping resolve discrimination claims. Ms. Joy was instrumental in developing and overseeing the City’s innovative Champaign Diversity Advancement Program (CDAP), which has increased the utilization of minority- and women-owned businesses in City purchasing and contracting. She was also heavily involved in developing the Community Gun Violence Reduction Blueprint, which is a comprehensive strategy to address the root causes of gun violence.

Ms. Joy earned a Master of Arts degree in Human Services with a concentration in social services administration from the University of Illinois at Springfield. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Wilberforce University and participated in the University’s international study abroad program at Hebrew University. She also served as a board member for the Central Illinois Economic Development Authority.

“Rachel’s extensive background and experience in community services and human rights make her exceptionally qualified to serve as our new Equity and Engagement Director,” said City Manager Dorothy Ann David. “During Rachel’s service to the City, she has proven herself to be a forward-thinking leader and a tireless advocate for individuals, businesses and local agencies who make up the fabric of our community.  Rachel is also recognized across the State of Illinois as an expert in equal opportunity, access, and inclusion, which has helped to showcase the efforts of our City to be a leader in advancing equity for all. It is my pleasure to promote her into this new leadership position.”

Ms. Joy has more than 15 years of experience managing programs, including four years working as an independent consultant and technical assistance provider. In that capacity she helped bring non-compliant revitalization sites back into federal compliance standards, fostered increased community partnerships, provided staff development to nonprofits, and authored grant applications. In prior employment, Ms. Joy managed the use of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for the expansion of rapid rehousing options, provided workforce development training, and enhanced placement and retention services for formerly incarcerated individuals. Ms. Joy has provided diversity training for private and public sector employees, strengthened police-community relationships, and fostered successful partnerships with building trades to increase the number of minorities and women in apprenticeship programs.

Rachel Joy said, “I am excited to take on the role of Director for the Equity and Engagement Department and Chief Equity Officer for the City of Champaign. I am honored the City Manager appointed me to this historic position. The Equity and Engagement Department will address systemic inequities while acknowledging our past, act by tackling our greatest societal challenges presently, and build hope for our community’s future by ensuring equity in our City policies and practices. I look forward to expanding our department’s team of experts and am eager to work both internally with other City departments and externally with our wonderfully diverse community.”

The City Council created the new Equity and Engagement Department, and the Director position to oversee the department, during their meeting on January 18, 2022. Ms. Joy’s starting annual salary will be $137,000.