2020 DAC Spotlight

Nicole Palmore, MSW

April 2020Nicole Palmore, MSW

Nicole Palmore, MSW, is a senior organization and development consultant in the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) Human Resource Services office. She works with a team where diversity and inclusion is foundational to everything it does.

“All of our leadership programs, whether it’s Career Essentials, Management Essentials, or Emerging Leaders, include a diversity and inclusion lens,” Palmore says. 

When Palmore facilitates these programs, she seeks to provide a space for honesty, affirmation, and support. She believes the classroom can be a powerful teacher, but diversity and inclusion cannot be thought of as a program or a once-a-year event. To Palmore, it is truly a “state of being” as an organization, and she finds there are opportunities everywhere to be more inclusive. 

Palmore grew up with a biracial experience that shaped an understanding and cultural awareness that ground her in the belief that diversity and inclusion are fundamental.  She strives to make sure she is contributing to the UMB culture in a way that feels intentionally inclusive. She has been amazed by just how important “little things” can be done to create a truly inclusive organization.

Palmore demonstrates this during the onboarding process, where new staff employees and faculty are oriented to the University. To Palmore, this is the act of letting new UMB employees know about the lactation rooms, all-gender bathrooms, or fixing someone’s nametag if they have a preferred name.   This is also a time for Palmore to be an ally to another woman when her voice isn’t being heard, or a time to be part of the conversation that elevates the reality of racism in spaces that are being impacted.  

The work Palmore does at UMB began when she was a student at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Palmore received her Master in Social Work degree just blocks away. Her interests are still in social justice and improving the human condition. Palmore now, many years later, is part of the UMB culture, working to create programs, conversations, and spaces for diversity and inclusion.

She is currently completing the UMB graduate certificate in intercultural leadership through UMB’s Graduate School. This program is helping her develop additional tools and pushing her to think and act more critically. For Palmore, UMB diversity and inclusion is about everyone, being here, being heard, and being comfortable as they are.

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