Nicole “Nicky” Hylton-Patterson, #26624
She, her, hers | New York, NY
A native of Jamaica, Nicole “Nicky” Hylton-Patterson spent much of her formative years camping and exploring the countryside as part of a summer regimen imposed by her parents. As first a troupe member, then a leader of the Girl Guides of Jamaica, she was able to flourish: Discovering agency, self-determination, feminist empowerment and sisterhood. Her yearly sojourns to the Blue Mountains of Portland, Jamaica, have had an immense impact on her personal and professional life, and continues to inform her interactions with others, nature, and the known world. These formative moments helped to inform Nicky’s journey as a leader in the Equity and Justice movement, where she sees her role at Dudley and Kiniya as part of a larger objective of helping the organization advance its equity, inclusion, and belonging goals.
Today, she continues to draw inspiration from the wisdom of her ancestors, who helped guide her quest to attain multiple degrees and certificates in ethnic, gender and sexuality studies at numerous institutions. Her education is only eclipsed by an extensive career in the U.S. foreign service, and as a racial justice officer for the YWCA, Elmira, a human rights coordinator for the Chemung County Legislator, an academic who has taught courses in critical race and Black feminist theories, queer of color critique, Pan African studies and Africana philosophy and the Inaugural Director of the Adirondack Diversity Initiative .
As the inaugural director of the Adirondack Diversity Initiative (ADI), a first of its kind in the region, Hylton-Patterson facilitated DEIB programs and taught leadership in education, recreation, business, environmental justice and public policy across the Adirondack Park. In this role she provided outreach to diverse populations in and around the Adirondack Park to build multiracial, multicultural alliances and affinity groups invested in making the Park a more welcoming and inclusive place for ALL. Under her leadership, ADI programs included a series of cultural competency and DEIB training to not-for-profit and for-profit organizations with customer facing staff and a first-of-its-kind DEIB training for regional law enforcement groups. In partnership with groups across the Park, she created ADI’s Emerging Stewards Program which brings together diverse young people from within and without the Adirondack Park for shared projects, outings, and team building exercises both in the Adirondacks and in urban centers.
In her current role as the Manager for the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging program at Little Flower Children and Family Services of New York, she continues to mobilize and deploy the entirety of her personal, political, and professional experiences. Her mission: To equip communities with the tools, strategies, language, and VOICE needed to dismantle systemic racism and structural oppression