As of July 2021, the Mayor’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is thrilled to introduce two new leaders at the helm of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Office for People with Disabilities. In these roles, they will lead the team in forwarding diverse, equitable, and inclusive strategies that serve our diverse workforce and residents of Philadelphia.
Nefertiri Sickout (she/her) — Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer
Nefertiri Sickout (she/her) was recently selected by Mayor Kenney to serve as Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer of the City of Philadelphia, a role she had been serving in an acting capacity since May 2020.
In her role, Nefertiri is leading the Office as it pushes forward a dual strategy—in partnership with City departments—to center a racial equity framework and advance equitable workforce and community outcomes. Under the City’s workforce equity strategy, departments are creating annual plans to achieve greater representation of—and participation by—employees of color and other historically marginalized and under-represented groups in the City’s workforce. Under the City’s operational equity strategy, departments are working to complete a racial equity assessment and action plan, setting forth more intentional efforts to produce greater racially equitable impact related to each agency’s budget, core services or programs, procurement and community engagement.
Nefertiri joined the Mayor’s Office in August 2016, and served initially as an Assistant Diversity and Inclusion Officer, and later as a Deputy Diversity and Inclusion Officer, before serving in her current role. Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office, Nefertiri worked at Pepper Hamilton LLP from 2010 – 2016, where she practiced law for eight years as a commercial litigation associate, handling complex contract litigation matters involving business and partnership disputes.
Nefertiri began her career in community-based advocacy around issues that affect the well-being of vulnerable families and children, including child welfare, early childhood education, adolescent health, and parenting education programs. She holds several degrees, including: a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Clark Atlanta University; a Master of Arts in infant special education from George Washington University; Master of Arts in developmental psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University; and a law degree from Villanova University School of Law.
Nefertiri resides in Mt. Airy with her supportive husband, Christian, and loving daughter, Suri Anna.
Amy Mathewson Millar (she/her) — Executive Director, Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities
Prior to joining the City of Philadelphia as the Executive Director for the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, Amy Mathewson Millar (she/her) has dedicated her career, rooted in Pennsylvania, to disability advocacy. Amy is a statewide and nationally recognized disability and addiction-recovery advocate who has been on the forefront of supporting families as a facilitator, keynote speaker, published author, and community leader.
For six years, Amy has been an active PA Developmental Disabilities Council and Committee Member. She has proudly served Philadelphia and Pennsylvania in a variety of roles and partnerships for more than 15 years including being the former Statewide Lead for Supporting Families through the Policy Bureau of the Office of Developmental Programs. She received her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from York College of Pennsylvania and is currently pursuing her Masters in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the University of Oklahoma.
As a community partner and person with lived experience in disability, addiction recovery and poverty, Amy has long advocated that equality, equity, opportunity, and inclusion are rights for all people. Through her personal and professional experiences, she has fostered her endurance, tenacity, and cultural humility. She desires to provide safe spaces for others and to expand how we view disability, access, and inclusion. Amy is dedicated to living her life experiences openly in hopes of addressing stigma and fostering equitable and inclusive practices for all citizens. She knows what it looks like to give up, she wants to see what it looks like to keep going as she proudly joins the Mayor’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Q: How do you plan to support diversity, equity, and inclusion in your role and what hopes do you have for the City of Philadelphia regarding DEI practices?
AM: I believe that there is a fidelity in the lived experience of people that systematic approaches cannot duplicate. Therefore, I intend to utilize my lived experience, and my expertise in policy and advocacy, to ensure that those facing marginalization are empowered and included around policies that impact their lives and community. I desire to shift the conversation around accessibility beyond doorways to also include meaningful participation, engagement, and inclusion of people with disabilities. We must also be mindful that the needs and experiences of the community of people with disabilities are as diverse as this great city and therefore it must include diverse voices in our efforts. Every engagement with City departments and our residents provides us with an opportunity to learn, grow, and expand our impact. When we put inclusion and accessibility at the forefront of how we as a City engage with one another, we can achieve what was once thought as impossible as we forge a truly equitable community for all.