DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION
Areas of ExpertiseTracy L. Williams is a nationally recognized leader committed to equity, social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion with expertise creating and executing strategies that uplift women and underserved populations. She is familiar with entrepreneurship, philanthropy, nonprofit, and corporate sectors and seeking to share her experiences and expertise through board service.
Williams has recently been appointed as Interim Assistant Vice Provost of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Administration in the Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she and was the former Senior Director of External Relations, Partnerships, and Development. Williams had been a partner with the Division in prior roles, such as the Diversity and Inclusion Advisor of American Family Insurance where she developed an enterprise strategy that influenced the development of the company’s current Inclusive Excellence Department. She also served as the Director of Diversity and Inclusion of the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association, where she led the planning and execution of diversity and inclusion efforts as part of their merger.
Williams is the founder of Ellephant Parade (www.ellephantparade.org), a sponsorship organization for professional women with an emphasis on leading with purpose. With 25 years of professional experience, she has been innovative and effective when addressing difficult social issues impacting women, communities of color, and marginalized populations. She has many accomplishments in addressing disparities, creating inclusive environments, and ensuring that resources are accessible to those in need. She managed the Bright Futures fund to empower women and girls on behalf of Jennifer and Peter Buffet’s NOVO Foundation, forged a partnership with executive producers Chris Gardner and Raymond Lambert to bring Dr. Maya Angelou’s Still I Rise PBS American Masters Documentary with American Family Insurance, and created an effort that engaged award winning alumni such as Gabriel Stulman and Virgil Abloh in a manner that increased increase diverse student, community, and alumni engagement as well as affinity and visibility to the University of Wisconsin Madison. Additionally, she has led the National Latino and Hispanic Organization Research Project on behalf of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and forged a partnership between the African American Chamber of Commerce and Milwaukee Public Schools by securing funding and creating a coaching program for at-risk youth. She is a former Senior Program Officer of Greater Milwaukee Foundation and Director of the Office of Multicultural Relations of Cardinal Stritch University.
In 2017, she served on the City of Sun Prairie’s Ad Hoc Diversity Committee, led by Mayor Paul Esser, which is responsible for making recommendations that led to the passing of an updated Housing Non-Discrimination Ordinance by the City Council. She has now been appointed by Mayor Esser to serve as a commissioner on the City of Sun Prairie Youth and Families Commission alongside her daughter, who is a youth commissioner. She has served as a commissioner on the Dane County Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission and executive committee for the past five years.
Williams’ education includes a bachelor’s degree in individual and family development with a minor in psychology from Northern Illinois University, a master’s degree in Business Management from Cardinal Stritch University, and additional study at Harvard University and New York University. She is a participant of the Executive Management Program -Wisconsin School of Business Center for Professional & Executive Development.