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De'Andrea Matthews

Ethnicity:

African American

Current position: 

Director of Diversity and Community Engagement

Current facility:

Detroit Zoo

Year zoo career began:

2021

Dr. De’Andrea Matthews is the Director of Diversity & Community Engagement at the Detroit Zoological Society, where she explores the relationships between human diversity and biodiversity while ensuring that the zoo’s programs and facilities are fully accessible to their diverse communities and audiences. De’Andrea also ensures that the zoo’s staff and volunteers reflect the multicultural fabric that is the strength of Southeast Michigan.

De’Andrea is from Detroit and proud to serve her hometown. A graduate of Detroit Public Schools, her undergraduate degree is from Eastern Michigan University with her master’s and doctorate degrees from Destiny Christian University. She brings 15 years of collective experiences in education, community engagement, event management, and workshop facilitation to empower her in her current role. Before her current position, she was the Director of Diversity & Inclusion at a medical school.

De’Andrea’s favorite part of her job is creative engagement, or finding ways to incorporate learning in new, innovative ways. Her position includes leading professional development and community engagement and not just calculating metrics or completing reports. For aspiring professionals, De’Andrea recommends that you understand how all of your combined experiences uniquely position you to influence and empower others around diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. Be willing to think outside of the box.