ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A North Carolina city has hired a manager whose job it will be to root out institutional racism and give opportunities to underrepresented minorities.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports the city hired Kimberlee Archie as its equity and inclusion manager. Officials said in a news release on Thursday that Archie is a higher education consultant from Charlotte who was selected after a nationwide search.

Archie will begin work July 31 with an annual salary of $80,000. City officials say among Archie’s first tasks will be city hiring and human resources, public engagement, public safety and community and economic development.

The hiring comes more than a year after the council tapped equity and diversity as a key issue. It came from a January 2016 retreat where council members made it a top priority for the areas of health, education, housing and economic mobility. In June the city hired a Denver, Colorado firm to do a $320,000 racial disparity study.

Since that time, a police officer killed an African-American man in a shooting that was ruled justified.

A traffic disparity study this year by an independent group showed city police stop and search a disproportionate number of black drivers. That was followed by a pushback against expansion of the police department by people who say police treat African-Americans more harshly.


Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com