Clarksville, TN – Michelle Lowe wants all employees of the City of Clarksville to examine themselves as a key first step toward building and sustaining a unified workforce.
She is now taking her message to each City department, having joined the City employee family in December as the first person in a dedicated Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer position with the City.
“My personal goal while in this position is ‘Building Community Bridges,’” Lowe said. “I would like to see all communities in Clarksville-Montgomery County truly become unified.
“However, in order for this to happen we the citizens will have to be willing to fully examine ourselves instead of each other. We will have to see each other as individuals, not as a socioeconomic status, an age, an education level, a religion, a national origin, a criminal background, a color, a gender, a sexual orientation, or anything other than an individual,” she said, adding, “We have to be willing to step across the imaginary line that so often keeps us apart.”
Lowe retired from the U.S. Army as a First Sergeant after more than 20 years of service. While never having been stationed at Fort Campbell, she and her family have called Clarksville home for over 13 years.
“Creating this DEI position was an important strategic initiative that was long overdue for our city,” said Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts.
“Michelle brings a depth of experience and passion to the position, and has already had an immediate impact on how we view diversity, equity and inclusion in this ever-changing environment. Her initial focus will be helping every department understand that diversity adds value to the services we provide, and highlights the importance of our different cultures that make us unique and special,” Mayor Pitts said.
Prior to her arrival at Clarksville City Hall, Lowe was the Director of Human Resources and DEI Training Officer for Montgomery County Government.
She holds two Masters Degrees, the first in Early Childhood Development, and the second in Pastoral Counseling. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Administration.
“We are excited to have a full-time position dedicated to diversity and inclusion, and Michelle has proven her ability to effectively enhance diversity initiatives in the Clarksville-Montgomery County area before joining the City workforce,” said Will Wyatt, Director of Human Resources for the City.
“She has a great deal of experience, training and education in the field and we are grateful to have her on the City team. Michelle has such a passion for not only developing diversity, equity and inclusion in our City workforce, but also in the surrounding community.
“Hiring Michelle as our DEI officer was an easy choice, and she has already had a significant impact on relationships in the community, as well as within the City of Clarksville’s workforce. We look forward to seeing all of the excellent work Michelle will continue to accomplish in this crucial role.” Wyatt said.
Lowe is originally from Southwestern Michigan. Her military career took her all over the world and she has numerous military awards and decorations including the Joint Service Meritorious Medal and Joint Service Commendation Medal.
“Diversity is not about color, it is about unity. It is not about putting sugar on a lemon and pretending everything is alright, it is about having uncomfortable conversations in order to move forward,” she said.
Lowe has been married to Robert Lowe for almost 30 years. Her son Caleb is currently a sophomore at Union University.