The City of San Luis Obispo is pleased to announce the appointment of Beya Makekau as its first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager. She will lead the City’s initiatives and programs that make San Luis Obispo a more welcoming, inclusive, and safe community for everyone.
Makekau’s first day will be February 17, 2022.
“We are committed to making San Luis Obispo a welcoming, inclusive, and safe community for everyone and Beya has already proven herself as a local leader in those efforts,” said City Manager Derek Johnson. “We are so excited to bring Beya on board to strengthen relationships and help us embed DEI in all of our practices, policies, and processes and work towards our goal of all people deepening their sense of belonging in San Luis Obispo.”
Makekau is currently Cal Poly’s Director of Student Diversity and Belonging, and in her new role will establish and manage the City’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). She will lead and collaborate with senior City leadership to create, coordinate, and manage all DEI programs, including learning content, staff development, policy and practice improvement, and community engagement efforts.
Last year, the City hired Makekau as a consultant to support San Luis Obispo’s DEI Task Force, which developed recommendations that the City adopted to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in San Luis Obispo. The first recommendation was that the City adopt diversity, equity and inclusion as a Major City Goal, which Council did for FY 2021-23. The second recommendation was for the City to establish an office dedicated to DEI is the City’s forward-facing commitment to structural and lasting change.
“I am honored to serve in this inaugural role, and I am eager to use my expertise in partnership with City leaders and our community to contribute to building a San Luis Obispo rooted in equity, inclusion, and belonging. A community empowered by its commitment to its fellow person”. Makekau said. As a queer Latina I deeply believe in the beauty of diversity, the necessity for equity, and the power of inclusion. Let’s get to work!”
The City set out to hire its first ever DEI Manager in November 2021. Unfortunately, that recruitment effort was unsuccessful. Rather than restart the process, the City offered the position to Makekau, a regarded champion of DEI in our community.
Makekau has a bachelor’s degree in Ethnic Studies/English/Spanish from the University of Oregon, a master’s degree in Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State University, and is completing her Doctorate of Education from Cal State University, Fresno.