February 4, 2022

Indianapolis Public Library hires new diversity, equity and inclusion officer

Keesha Hughes, the new new diversity, equity and inclusion officer at the Indianapolis Public Library. - Courtesy of the Indianapolis Public Library

Keesha Hughes, the new new diversity, equity and inclusion officer at the Indianapolis Public Library.

Courtesy of the Indianapolis Public Library

Last year, allegations of systemic racism and discrimination at the Indianapolis Public Library led to personnel changes and the resignation of longtime CEO Jackie Nytes.

The library’s new diversity, equity and inclusion officer, Keesha Hughes said she is aware of grievances by some employees and says their experiences are valid.

“I know a lot of my colleagues are probably tired of having to rehash things that have just been very trying on them,” Hughes said. “I feel there's potential for the tide to turn, there's potential for us to take those unpleasant situations, fix them as best as we can in terms of unjust policies.”

Hughes said the library’s leadership she has encountered have indicated they are committed to create change and improve the workplace environment.

“So I think we just have to take it one situation at a time, get to the bottom of it, hold people accountable, and figure out how we educate people; how we move forward so these things can't continue to happen, because that's just not acceptable,” Hughes said.

Hughes says it is important that all personnel uphold the library’s standards, values and mission and believes leadership shares the same goal.

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