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Taj Suleyman join the City May 17, 2021 as director of diversity, equity and inclusion. He has extensive career experience leading diversity, equity and inclusion work for a variety of organizations, including work for the public sector and non-profits.
Most recently he was the director of equity for Dubuque Community Schools in Dubuque, Iowa, serving as a key district leader. Prior to joining Dubuque Community Schools, Suleyman served as equity outreach coordinator for the City of Dubuque.
Suleyman reports directly to the City Manager. Gage said this position is critical in taking the local government’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives to a new level, including developing and implementing strategies and education programs throughout the organization.
The City of Springfield is committed to taking a leadership role in addressing direct and systemic prejudice, bias and racism. Beyond racial equity, however, the City is committed to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in every sense of the words, which is one reasons Suleyman was attracted to the job.
Suleyman came to the U.S. as a refugee from Lebanon 21 years ago, the son of a Sudanese father and Saudi Arabian mother. He says his personal experiences help shape his understanding of issues faced by immigrants and other members of subgroup populations. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in International Relations (languages) from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and a master of arts degree in Intercultural Relations from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif.