Digital Exclusive: Sioux City’s 1st Community Inclusion Liaison hopes to make ‘lasting’ impact

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – One woman is pioneering a brand new role within the City of Sioux City’s Neighborhood Services Department.

Meet Semehar Ghebrekidan; she’s the first-ever Community Inclusion Liaison. Her role is to connect the community with the city and fill in the gaps that are currently not available.

“Something that the City wants is preventative versus reactive measures. So, something that this position will do is, hopefully, is looking at different policies and the institution as a whole different department. Helping create change in those by having a different perspective in the room,” said Semehar Ghebrekidan, Community Inclusion Liaison.

Ghebrekidan was born and raised in Sioux Falls and started in the liaison position about three weeks ago.

Since then, she’s been learning a lot about the different City departments and already has many goals in mind for her role.

“My goal is to develop an equity lens, in general, for the City to adopt for other businesses to take and adapt. When making decisions to make sure that marginalized individuals are being included in decision-making and that they’re not being pushed to the side,” said Ghebrekidan.

Ghebrekidan’s passion for diversity and inclusion has carried her a long way, including days where there’s a lot of pressure on her.

She’s hoping to make a lasting impact on the community through different ways, such as talking about systemic racism and assessing risks that could hurt the City.

“So, I think a part of it is if we can talk about policies that have negatively affected marginalized populations, we can reverse some of those negative feelings,” said Semehar Ghebrekidan, Community Inclusion Liaison.

Ghebrekidan hopes to help navigate issues within the community and mentions the City has put trust in her to do her job.

If you would like to visit Ghebrekidan, her office is in the Neighborhood Services Department, which is on the third floor of City Hall.

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