West Michigan Partnership for Children hires equity officer

Nakia Kyler Courtesy West Michigan Partnership for Children

A nonprofit foster care program hired a chief engagement and equity officer.

The West Michigan Partnership for Children (WMPC) hired Nakia Kyler for the newly created position, which was effective Monday.

Kyler’s experience includes marketing, fundraising and interacting with a variety of stakeholders to increase engagement and meet strategic goals.

“I was very struck by how aligned Nakia is with WMPC’s vision, mission and values, and how she focuses on having a trauma-informed perspective, (amplifying silenced voices) and walking alongside our vulnerable children and families,” said Sonia Noorman, CEO of WMPC. “Nakia will be a fabulous partner in working to advance equity with WMPC (and) more importantly, in Kent County’s child welfare system.”

Prior to working at WMPC, Kyler was the global director of philanthropy at Bethany Christian Services, where she secured large gifts to ensure the safety and protection of vulnerable children around the world and integrated strength-based storytelling in marketing campaigns.

Kimberly Offutt, a Bethany colleague who has known Kyler for almost three years, said advancing equity and inclusion for Kyler is “her heartbeat; she breathes DEI and weaves it into all she does in a way that everyone can hear without defensiveness.”

Previously, as the community events coordinator at Susan G. Komen Michigan, Kyler raised awareness within the African American community and highlighted the strengths of women of color who are affected by breast cancer.

Kyler started her career in Alabama’s governor’s office of faith-based and community initiatives, where she served as a liaison to key federal, city and local stakeholders and developed a three-year strategy expanding volunteerism to address critical needs impacting local communities.

By joining WMPC, Kyler said she is pairing her desire to impact her community more directly with the opportunity to continue leveraging her engagement and equity advancement expertise.

“I’m truly excited to join the WMPC family,” she said. “This position will allow me the opportunity to continue my efforts to create better outcomes for children while strengthening systems that directly impact susceptible families — specifically, families of color.”

Kyler has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Michigan. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, friends and serving in various leadership roles at her church.

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