BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — The city of Battle Creek has hired its first diversity, equity and inclusion officer.

Kimberly Holley, a Battle Creek native, will start in the role on Jan. 23.

Holley is currently the director of Sojourner Truth Center for Liberation and Justice, and is co-coordinator of the Battle Creek Coalition for Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation.

The city announced the new position earlier this year but paused the hiring process in August after not having a clear candidate choice. City Manager Rebecca Fleury reached out to Holley to see if she was interested in the position.

“I realized the ideal candidate may already be in our community, working in the DEI space,” Fleury said in a news release. “(Holley) was on my mind from the beginning, and I strongly felt I needed to reach out and have a conversation with her, to see if she was interested. Fortunately, she was.”