Rekah Strong, whose higher education began at Clark College and who has been honored regionally for her commitment to diversity and inclusion, has been appointed to the Clark College Board of Trustees by Gov. Chris Gregoire.
Strong’s term will begin Oct. 1. She will succeed Rhona Sen Hoss, who has served as a trustee for 10 years.
“Rekah’s commitment to community and its success makes her a valuable asset to the board,” said Gregoire. “She cares about the people she serves and understands the importance of a solid foundation in education. I welcome her to this new role.”
Clark College President Robert K. Knight said, “Rekah Strong is a well-respected leader in the community. We know that she will be a great advocate for our students and Clark College.”
Strong, who serves as chief diversity and inclusion officer for Clark County, said she is excited to be joining the Board of Trustees.
“My personal commitment to the betterment of my local community, along with my desire to utilize my education, and professional skills, to further enhance a respected educational institution, is the primary driver for my desire to serve on the Clark College Board of Trustees,” she said.
Strong added, “Clark offers a myriad of support for students, ranging from those who need additional preparation before attending a university to those who are brushing up on a new skill or certification. I have first-hand experience as a student, as an employer, and as a professional, of the amazing benefits that Clark College brings to this community. It is an honor to give back to the institution which provided me with such a solid foundation.”
After attending Clark College, Strong transferred to Portland State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in social work (administration). She is currently continuing her studies at Portland State, pursuing a Ph.D. in social work.
For more than a decade, Strong, who resides in Camas, has worked with public and private agencies, developing strategies to improve organizational cultural humility. As Chief Diversity Officer for Clark County, Strong leads the county’s efforts to integrate diversity and inclusion measures into policy and practice in the county. She is currently the committee chair of the Clark County Diversity Advisory Committee and the Clark County Diversity Steering Committee. She is co-chair of the 2012 Northwest Public Employees Diversity Conference and serves on the board of We Reign.
Strong has also been an active volunteer in the region, serving as an advisor for the American Society for Training and Development Cultural Competency Team, a board member and diversity team chair for the American Red Cross of Southwest Washington and a personnel committee member for YWCA Clark County. She has also served on the Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest African American Advisory Committee, the City of Battle Ground Diversity Task Force, and the Portland State University Social Justice Committee.
Strong is a recipient of the 2008 NAACP Diversity Leadership Award, 2009 YWCA Val Joshua Racial Justice Award, 2009 Delta Woman of Excellence award for social justice, and the 2010 Vancouver Business Journal Accomplished and Under 40 award. Her leadership efforts contributed to Clark County’s selection as the recipient of the 2009 National Association of Counties Program Award for Diversity and Inclusion and the 2010 Urban Entrepreneurs Network Community Vanguard Award.