Virginia VDOE Superintendent of Public Instruction, Little Discussion Critical Position

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There has been a lot of focus on Younkin’s pick for Secretary of Education and for good reason. Is the media done covering this issue, who knows, time will tell. However, as we wait for Youngkin or more likely Guidera to announce who the Deputy of the Secretary Of Education will be, there has been little discussion regarding the role of the “Superintendent of Public Instruction”. I believe Guidera will make this pick. The Superintendent of Public Instruction carries a lot of weight and is a very important position, one to watch closely. For example, the “Chief of DEI” reports to the SPI and that office alone is responsible for all of the CRT/DEI related sewage spread throughout the state.

ELIMINATE not shift or dissolve into other cabinets the Chief of DEI cabinet and any related enablers. Start here.

About Us

Dr. Janice Underwood, Ph.D.

Dr. Janice Underwood, who strongly believes in servant leadership and culturally relevant reform, was appointed by Governor Ralph Northam as the Commonwealth of Virginia’s first cabinet-level Chief Diversity Officer (CDO).  This position is also the first of its kind in the nation. As the Commonwealth’s CDO, she is committed to addressing racial, ethnic, disability, gender-based, and other cultural inequities in formal and informal policies in Virginia state government.  Specifically, Dr. Underwood has worked collaboratively to build the ONE Virginia mission, the first-ever statewide strategic plan for inclusive excellence across over 100 state agencies and with other public and private sectors.  In this historical role, which provides a roadmap for building diversity-lead innovation in local, state, and federal government, Dr. Underwood was named one of “20 Agents of Change” in 2020 by the Virginia Museum of History and Culture for the measurable accomplishments, impact, and racial reconciliation she has already had on the Commonwealth.  As part of her role, she guides the state’s COVID-19 Equity Leadership Task Force, which directs the work of the Unified Command Health Equity Working Group, various equity audits for state agencies, and the implementation of equity principles in public messaging, crisis management, and community engagement.  Her goal is to make Virginia an exemplar for the nation, regarding diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence.

Alaysia Black Hackett

Alaysia Black Hackett has been appointed Deputy Chief Diversity Officer for the Governor’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI).  Ms. Hackett brings with her 20 years of executive-level diversity leadership in government and in public and private university settings. In this role as Deputy Chief Diversity Officer, Ms. Hackett will work with the Chief Diversity Officer across secretariats, state agencies, and all communities to advance equity reforms across state government and the Commonwealth.

Prior to this appointment, Ms. Hackett served as Special Assistant to the ODEI and Diversity and Inclusion Consultant for the Virginia Department of Human Resources Management.  Before joining the Office of the Governor, Ms. Hackett was the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Mars Hill University in North Carolina. Ms. Hackett earned a B.S. in Sociology with a concentration in Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Relations and a M.P.A. with a concentration in Organizational Development from Western Carolina University. She studied law at Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney School of Law and earned an Executive Juris Doctor (EJD) degree from Concord Law School at Purdue University Global in 2019.  Ms. Hackett is also a faith leader in Glenn Allen, Virginia. Show Less

The women below is who conducted the Loudoun County NAACP “Discrimination” complaint that AG Herring’s office stated in their Final Determination on 11/18/20:

Mona Siddiqui

Mona Siddiqui has been appointed Deputy Chief Diversity Officer and Senior Policy Advisor with an emphasis in immigration. In this new role, she will serve as the Commonwealth’s primary specialist on immigrant and refugee affairs in an innovative collaboration with the Virginia Department of Social Services, Office of New Americans. Therefore, under the direction of the Chief Diversity Officer, she will work across secretariats, state agencies, and relevant communities to coordinate interagency efforts and to identify and remove systemic barriers preventing immigrants and refugees from fully participating in Virginia’s workforce, educational systems, economy, and other relevant sectors. Prior to joining the ODEI, Ms. Siddiqui served in the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney General (OAG) for several years as an Assistant Attorney General. As a long-time advocate and activist in the areas of race, migration, national origin, religion, gender, and disability, during her tenure with the Office of the Attorney General, Ms. Siddiqui championed human rights, fair housing, and disability initiatives, and established best practices in civil rights advocacy for Virginia localities.  Mona also served for five years on the Governor’s Virginia Asian Advisory Board.

Mona holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Foreign Affairs and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Virginia, an earned Juris Doctorate (JD) from the University of Maryland’s School of Law, and is currently a PhD Candidate in the Wilder School of Government & Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University, where her research focuses on an intersection of immigration integration and civil rights. 

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