NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced the appointment of Sideya Sherman as commissioner of the new Mayor’s Office of Equity. This office was created through Executive Order 5 for the deputy mayors and senior leadership. The Mayor’s Office of Equity builds on the successful work of the Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity, which broke down silos across city agencies to drive resources and prioritize the communities hardest-hit by the pandemic. The office will bring city agencies together around a shared vision of equity and build lasting change through the following domains: Structural reforms, programs and initiatives, culture and practice, external engagement, and public policy. The Office of Equity has an intersectional focus and is comprised of the Commission on Gender Equity, Young Men’s Initiative, Unity Project, Racial Justice Commission, Taskforce on Racial Inclusion & Equity, and Pay Equity Cabinet.
“Our city has made continual progress on issues of equity, but we still have a long way to go,” said Mayor Adams. “This new office will work across city agencies and systems to support structural change, while still advancing real-time policies, programs and initiatives that serve New Yorkers. Sideya Sherman has a proven record of being a true leader and champion for the rights of New Yorkers. She has proven to be a leader focused on diversity, equity and inclusion, and I am proud to have her join our team.”
“The newly formed Mayor’s Office of Equity is a crucial step forward to address deeply rooted issues of discrimination, support communities hit hardest by the pandemic and dismantle structural inequality,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Sheena Wright. “This office will show how government can lead the way in creating public policy and programs that establish equity across New York City. Under Sideya Sherman’s driven leadership, our government will chart a new course towards becoming a more equitable, inclusive city for all.”
“I am deeply honored to be appointed the city’s first commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Equity,” said Mayor’s Office of Equity Commissioner Sideya Sherman. “Mayor Adams has outlined a bold vision for our city. I am thrilled to work alongside the mayor and Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright to center and institutionalize equity across this administration. Our city is at a pivotal moment, and to recover equitably, we can’t just put broken systems back into place. I look forward to working with colleagues across government, partners, and communities to bring about transformative change that will level the playing field for all.”
“As we continue to reflect on the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 crisis on our vulnerable communities, this administration is ensuring that the recovery and future of New York City is rooted in equity and inclusion,” said New York City Department of Social Services Commissioner Gary P. Jenkins. “The establishment of the Mayor’s Office of Equity under the exemplary leadership of Sideya Sherman reinforces our commitment to reflecting our city’s diversity in the workforce, while uplifting our marginalized communities. Throughout her career, Commissioner Sherman has worked tirelessly in service of this mission, and I greatly look forward to working together to make sure that every New Yorker has equal access to opportunity and can share in the growth and prosperity that our great city has to offer.”
“The challenges facing the New York City Housing Authority and the solutions required to solve them extend beyond financing and physical infrastructures. They require an ability to build coalitions and consensus among dozens of city agencies and neighborhood-based organizations working at the intersection of workforce development, economic development, public policy, and community engagement,” said New York City Housing Authority Chair & CEO Greg Russ. “In her time at the Authority, Sideya Sherman has leveraged her wealth of experience across these areas to connect public housing residents to the services they need — and we are excited to work with Ms. Sherman in her new chapter as the commissioner of the new Mayor’s Office of Equity.”
“Sideya Sherman is an exceptional public servant who centers community and equity in all she does,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards. “Sideya has been a trailblazer at NYCHA and through her work leading the Taskforce for Racial Inclusion and Equity. She is the right person to serve as the first ever commissioner for the Mayor’s Office of Equity, and I commend Mayor Adams and Deputy Mayor Wright for this prolific appointment. I look forward to working with Sideya to advance racial and economic justice for Queens and the entire city.”
“For far too long, race and identity have determined one’s socioeconomic status, political power, and health outcomes. By centering equity through this new Office, the city has a profound opportunity to fundamentally change the way it does business,” said Jennifer Jones Austin, chair, New York City Racial Justice Commission. “Sideya has been an impactful leader across city government, and she has a deep, long-standing commitment to racial and social justice. I commend Mayor Adams and Deputy Mayor Wright on this appointment, and I look forward to continuing to work with Sideya and this administration to advance equity for our great city.”
“Sideya has been a long-standing champion in community development and human rights,” said Bishop Mitchell G. Taylor, CEO and co-founder, Urban Upbound. “Her vast experience in the nonprofit sector and city government gives her a unique ability to walk the halls of public housing while impacting policy in the halls of government. Her new role as commissioner of equity reinforces and empowers her to do what she’s been doing her entire career, leveling the playing field an insuring equity for all.”
“For the past two years, New York City has worked hard to advance an equity agenda throughout its COVID-19 response. We have learned when we take a whole of government approach we can achieve equitable outcomes, specifically for those who have experienced longstanding inequities due to structural racism” said New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene First Deputy Commissioner and Chief Equity Officer Dr. Torian Easterling. “I am so thrilled Mayor Adams continues to lead in this transformative way by creating the Office of Equity, and I congratulate Sideya Sherman on being named the office’s commissioner. Sideya leads with compassion and authenticity that is critical for this work, and I am so proud to partner with her as we seek to protect the health and well-being of all New Yorkers.”
“I am thrilled to congratulate Sideya Sherman on her appointment to be commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Equity,” said Tonya Gayle, executive director, Green City Force. “Sideya is a trailblazer, and it is fitting that she serves as the inaugural leader of such an important part of the Adams administration. Sideya has the perfect tool kit of proven outcomes, strategic thought leadership, as well as lived experience of ‘walking the walk’ to bring a legitimate and authentic intersectional approach to tackling systemic historical inequities. Sideya is a powerful and needed visionary who also ‘Gets Stuff Done.’ I’m thankful for her service to New York City and excited for what’s ahead under her new portfolio of critical equity work towards a just transition.”
“As a long-time NYCHA resident leader, I have known and worked with Sideya for over a decade. She doesn’t shy away from difficult conversations and is committed to rolling up her sleeves and working hand-in-hand with communities that have often been overlooked,” said Daniel Barber, chair, NYCHA Citywide Council of Presidents. “I commend Mayor Adams for this appointment and for establishing the Office of Equity, and l look forward to working alongside this administration to address the needs of public housing residents and uplift our communities together.”
“There is nothing more pressing than our work together in building and reshaping systems in our city — a city with so much prosperity — so that every child and every adult has all they need to eat, safe affordable housing, education that uplifts, dignified work, quality health care, and freedom from oppression and all forms of violence,” said Rabbi Rachel Timoner, Congregation Beth Elohim. “We need government leaders that have the courage and clarity to see through the tangle of complexity, and the ingenuity, fearlessness, and tenacity to make real change. Sideya Sherman is such a leader. I want to commend Mayor Adams on her appointment as commissioner of the new Mayor’s Office of Equity. I look forward to working with her in the years to come.”
“I want to commend Mayor Adams and Deputy Mayor Wright for the creation of the city’s first Office of Equity and celebrate their brilliant appointment of Sideya Sherman as its leader,” said Rev. Emma Jordan-Simpson, president, Auburn Seminary. “Sideya brings a wealth of experience and an abundance of vision, talent, and empathy to this critical role. She leads with love, lifts up those around her, and has a proven ability to organize people, resources and organizations towards huge goals. I look forward to supporting Sideya as she takes on this incredibly important opportunity any way that I can.”
“Congratulations to Sideya Sherman on her appointment as commissioner for the new Mayor’s Office of Equity,” said Wayne Ho, president and CEO, Chinese-American Planning Council. “Sideya has an impressive track record of bringing communities together, and leading systems change work within some of the most complex institutions in the country. I look forward to working with her and the new office to meet this complex moment in our city’s history and advance the fight for racial and economic justice for not only the Asian American community but also other diverse communities.”
“Henry Street Settlement applauds the appointment of Sideya Sherman as the commissioner of the newly created Mayor’s Office of Equity,” said David Garza, executive director, Henry Street Settlement. “With 129 years of commitment to progressive reform, the Settlement understands the importance of resourcing a function and having the most effective leadership in place in order to achieve impact. Ms. Sherman is an experienced, caring, thoughtful, and innovative professional, and we are confident that her leadership will galvanize and inspire the broad program and policy efforts that are underway across the city in a way that promotes inclusion, shared power, accountability, and measurable results.”
United Neighborhood Houses applauds Mayor Adams’ appointment of Sideya Sherman as the first commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Equity,” said Susan Stamler, executive director, United Neighborhood House (UNH). “Sideya is a strong leader with a demonstrated commitment to equity. As executive director of the Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity and executive vice president at NYCHA, Sideya partnered with UNH and our settlement house members to develop inclusive approaches to community and economic development. She brings that knowledge and experience to lead this groundbreaking office, where she will be well positioned to advance policy reforms and program initiatives that strengthen our city. UNH congratulates Sideya on this historic appointment, and we look forward to continuing to work together to build neighborhoods that better meet the diverse needs of all New Yorkers.”
“Sideya has spent her career tackling systemic challenges and centering the voices and experiences of communities that have been historically excluded,” said Grace Bonilla, senior vice president for Latin America, Covenant House International. I am thrilled to see her take on this new role and continue to work across city agencies and systems to foster a just recovery for our city. I commend Mayor Adams and Deputy Mayor Wright for establishing this office and anchoring equity within this administration.”
About Sideya Sherman
Sideya Sherman will serve as the commissioner of the new Mayor’s Office of Equity, where she will lead the city’s effort to advance equity through policy, practice, and programs that serve New Yorkers. Sherman brings nearly two decades of equity-focused community and economic development experience, most recently serving as executive director of the city’s Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity (TRIE), and executive vice president for Community Engagement and Partnerships at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).
As executive vice president at NYCHA, Sherman led a team of over 230 people across six departments — overseeing a partnership-based, collective impact model for engaging neighborhoods and connecting public housing residents to critical services. Under Sherman’s leadership, NYCHA implemented new high-impact resident programs, established innovative cross-sector partnerships, and garnered new resources to support resident health, social service, youth, economic opportunity, and community engagement initiatives.
In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, Sherman was additionally tapped to lead TRIE, which was launched in response to the racial disparities laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic. As executive director, Sherman worked across over 60 city agencies and offices to advance new programs, policies, and initiatives that centered equity in the city’s ongoing pandemic response and recovery. The taskforce spurred over $300 million in new investments in hard-hit communities through supports for small businesses, youth programs, mental health resources, and other critical services.
Prior to her career in government, Sherman acquired extensive experience serving diverse communities in the nonprofit sector. As project director and senior planner for the Municipal Art Society of New York, Sherman provided training and technical assistance to community-based organizations and neighborhood advocates confronting local planning, land use, and economic development challenges. Sherman has also held positions with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation and the Lower East Side Business Improvement District, where she implemented urban commercial corridor revitalization programs at both the national and local level.
Sherman is a lifelong New Yorker. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Utica College in political science and a Master of Science degree in urban affairs from Hunter College.
Sherman will report to Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Sheena Wright.