Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) may award up to $500,000 in a contract for a new diversity consultant. MNPS Board of Education is considering an addition for the school district’s Diversity Business Enterprise (DBE) Program.
The MNPS diversity consultant, if approved, would be Gwendolyn Sims. She runs the Sims Strategic Diversity Consultants, which specializes in DBEs as well as diversity programs and management for contractors and companies. She’s identified as “Gwendolyn Davis” on her website.
The contract would last from July of this year to June 2026. Additionally, Davis would be paid $100 per hour. The MNPS board noted that the rate for their diversity consultant would be subject to an annual escalation adjustment.
According to the board agenda, the grading scale for the new MNPS diversity consultant would entail the amount and quality of diverse businesses the consultant manages to pull.
“EVALUATION: Based on effective implementation of the scope, schedule and processes; effectiveness of participation of minority, women-owned, and small businesses in MNPS procurement solicitations; quality of the outreach and technical training of minority, women-owned, and small businesses; and quality of the program compliance, monitoring, and reporting,” stated the agenda.
The MNPS DBE Program is a program aimed at expanding the amount of contracts awarded to businesses that are ethnic, women-owned, small, or service-disabled veteran-owned. According to the MNPS Policies and Procedures regarding the DBE Program, the DBE classification of small businesses refers to those businesses who are owned by 51 percent or more of the following: minorities, women, or service-disabled veterans.
Minorities are classified as African Americans, Native Americans, Latino Americans, and/or Asian Americans.
MNPS cited the Tennessee Code provision that permits school districts to set aside procurements for up to 10 percent of work – which may be used for DBE initiatives.
The next MNPS Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at 5 p.m. CST.
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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Gwendolyn Sims” by Gwendolyn Sims and “Nashville at Night” is by Sims Strategic Diversity Consultants.