New leadership announced for Illinois Extension regions

The University of Illinois Extension office has announced the permanent hire of three assistant directors for various geographic regions, including Cook County and the Northeastern part of the state.

Durriyyah Kemp will serve as assistant director and help oversee the northernmost Extension region, which includes 15 counties, spanning from Jo Daviess to Kankakee and including Cook County.

Kemp joined Extension in 2006, first serving in youth development and later in social and emotional learning. She is certified in diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace and has trained Extension staff in cultural awareness and human behavior to create inclusive and cooperative work environments.

Kemp serves on the National Urban Extension Leaders steering committee, as well as the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy's diversity, equity and inclusion action team.

Kemp says a priority will be to create new funding streams to elevate Extension work in the region and establish deeper connections to people and communities.

"County-based staff need the resources and encouragement to thrive and remain on the cutting edge of community needs" Kemp said. "As assistant director, I must ensure the environment is ripe with support for sustainable excellence."

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