Wake County’s first diversity, equity, and inclusion director ready to get to work

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Danya Perry is no stranger to the Triangle area.

“I’m from New Bern. [I] came to Raleigh in 1994. I went to N.C. State University — the greatest university on the planet,” Perry said while smiling.

However, in mid-January, he will be taking on a new challenge.

“I mean, the fact that my position was created means there was an intentionality towards it,” Perry said.

In November, Wake County officials announced that perry would become the county’s first diversity, equity, and inclusion director.

“I look at it like this, the county is listening. What is our community, residents, what are people saying about what the needs are and where the gaps are? It’s about understanding what does the data tell us about historically under-represented people and about the inclusion of all folk,” Perry said.

His job will focus on advocating for access, equity, and inclusion through different initiatives.

Before this gig, Perry worked for the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, serving as vice president in a similar role.

He worked with the county to attract companies. Perry fought for things like better pay, benefits, and protection from discrimination.

He said he looks forward to continuing doing that work, especially as more companies call the Triangle home.

“I don’t look at this being the launch. It’s the continuation of a conversation of diversity, equity and inclusivity,” he said.

Perry said the very first thing he wants to do is listen. His first day is Jan. 14.

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