INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana now has a Chief Equity, Inclusion and Opportunity Officer. Governor Eric Holcomb selected Karrah Herring for the new position.
Loud cries for change over the summer brought Holcomb to announce ways he would address these issues in August.
“I called my entire cabinet together and shared my commitment to acknowledge past shortcomings and do something about it no matter how hard or raw or uncomfortable it might be,” explained Holcomb in that late summer press conference.
That meant, in part, hiring a Chief Equity, Inclusion and Opportunity Officer. Herring accepted the role and will oversee removing any barriers within state agencies.
At the University of Notre Dame— she served as the Director of Institutional Equity and Title IX Coordinator.
“Karrah has been a valuable member of Public Affairs and the University team,” said Tim Sexton, Associate Vice President for Public Affairs at Notre Dame. “We are excited to see her take her talents and abilities to the Statehouse.”
Senate Minority Leader Greg Taylor spoke on behalf of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus saying he thinks this hire is a good first step.
“I think that it’s exciting if the position is allowed to do what I think the position can do,” explained Sen. Taylor.
He doesn’t want Herring’s work to stop with state agencies. Sen. Taylor wants state policy inspired from her efforts.
“Without the policies to back up the diversification that the governor is putting in place, Indiana will continue to lag the rest of the country in attracting some of the best and brightest minds and Hoosiers who want to live in a diverse community,” said Taylor.
Herring will report to Governor Holcomb.
Funding for her position comes from the CenterPoint Energy Foundation’s initial $250,000 contribution. That will not only fund these efforts, but other related initiatives expected in 2021.
We reached out to CenterPoint for comment but have yet to hear back.
“Yes, great. I’m so happy that we’ve got seed money to start,” said Taylor. “But the question that I have, and I will continue to have is how do we fund that going forward?”
Herring was unavailable for an interview as she is currently on maternity leave. She will start her new position in February.