CARMEL – Black History Month honors the sacrifices and achievements of African Americans in our country and our community.

The City of Carmel’s first equity officer, Dr. Timothy Knight, develops leadership programs for city employees and guides city management through challenges and goals involving diversity, equality and inclusion.

“At school, we learned about black heroes and the work they did, and we were inspired to be like them growing up,” Dr Knight said.

Helping others has always been a priority for Dr. Knight.

“For me, it was all about service. At 13, I taught my first Sunday school class. I preached my first sermon at 15 and have held leadership positions all my life. “, said Dr. Knight.

So when the City of Carmel called on Knight to fill a newly created position to bring inclusion and diversity to the city, it felt right.

“I’m passionate about this work because it’s an opportunity to build bridges,” Dr Knight said.

If you look at his four-page resume, you’ll see lots of degrees, lots of promotions, and lots of awards.

“He chose the difficult path and made a success of his life. He is exactly the type of person we need to help our employees,” Carmel Mayor James Brainard said.

Behind this resume is a man who looked beyond his circumstances and created the life he deserved.

“I grew up in abject poverty in a town called East St. Louis, Illinois. When I say abject poverty, I didn’t know what it was like to turn on the heat until I moved to Indianapolis. for the school,” said Dr. Chevalier.

Determined not to become a product of his environment, Knight first came to Hoosier State to further his education.

“I remembered my mom giving me about $750. A one-way bus ticket and that was it,” Dr. Knight said.

This money didn’t go far and when it ran out, he soon found himself homeless.

“We had this thing in East St. Louis called ‘East St. Louis shuffle.’ road, and they go home. They don’t fulfill those dreams. They don’t actualize their promise. It’s not going to happen to me,” Dr Knight said.

With a few Hoosiers rallying behind him, Dr. Knight graduated and soon landed an opportunity with the IMPD.

“I needed a steady job; it was as simple as that,” Dr Knight said.

After leaving IMPD in 2014 and moving to California, he is now back in Hoosier State.

“Whites, poor people have problems too. Asians have problems. Women, black women. Each of these categories really needs a cultural initiative to address all of these issues,” Dr Knight said.

“This role is designed to help our employees understand these differences and respond appropriately. As we grow, we will continue to expand this training and work as needed,” said Mayor Brainard.

“We can address them hierarchically and vertically. The key is to address each of them and identify and create remedies for each of these root causes. This is something that I have been passionate about since I started understood the dimensions of the breed,” said Dr. Chevalier.

Dr. Knight is also the co-founder of WISP’s OK program. – a collaborative effort between law enforcement, local government and the community to mentor young black men. The OK program gradually evolved into the IMPD CARES mentorship program.