SARANAC LAKE — Nicole “Nicky” Hylton-Patterson is leaving the Adirondack Diversity Initiative, where she served as the ADI’s first-ever director and seeded several programs that strive to establish diversity, equity and inclusion in the Adirondack Park.

Hylton-Patterson joined the ADI as director after the state carved out $250,000 for the organization from its Environmental Protection Fund in 2019. The ADI, folded under the Adirondack North Country Association, started out in 2015 with a group of community volunteers who wanted to promote inclusivity in the Adirondacks. Under Hylton-Patterson’s leadership, according to ANCA Executive Director Elizabeth Cooper, the ADI program has “taken off.”

ANCA announced in a press release on Thursday that Hylton-Patterson has taken a new job in Brooklyn as the director of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at Little Flower Children and Family Services of New York — a human services nonprofit focused on improving the well-being of children, families and people with developmental disabilities across New York City and Long Island. Hylton-Patterson also wanted to be closer to her family and to help take care of her mother, according to the release. Hylton-Patterson’s last day with the ADI was Friday, and she’ll begin her new job later this month.

Though Hylton-Patterson didn’t respond to the Enterprise’s request for an interview by press time Friday, she told the Adirondack Explorer earlier this week that she felt supported by the “Core Team” at ADI and that she’d miss “the people on the ground” who have worked alongside her during her time with the initiative.

“I am proud of the strides ADI has made over the last few years to increase understanding, compassion and action around issues of justice, equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging,” Hylton-Patterson said in a statement. “My successor will have the privilege to work with a team of hard-working staff, dedicated partners and committed volunteers who are driven to make positive change in their communities. I remain committed to those wonderful people and to supporting those efforts to ensure the longevity and sustainability of the region.”

Read the full article in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.