Black History Month: “Diversity & Inclusion” in Local Government

BLOG POST | Feb 9, 2016

Black History Month is the annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history.  This blogger from Diversity Best Practices makes the point that the ideals of Black History Month should be celebrated not only during February, but throughout the year—and that Black History Month is also about unifying the community and building cultural competence.

We agree!  ICMA and our members are committed to ensuring that local governments and the association reflect the diversity of the communities we serve.  Professional local government management must attract and cultivate a diverse and talented group of individuals dedicated to the highest ideals of public service. Check out our ICMA membership diversity strategic plan to learn more.

In celebration of these ideals we are launching a new Knowledge Network topic: Diversity & Inclusion. This encompassing topic is home to resources about building diversity and inclusion within the profession of local government and showcasing how leaders are serving their diverse communities. Below I’ve highlighted a few resources from the topic page.

Workforce of Tomorrow

This report by the Local Government Research Collaborative and the Center for State and Local Government Excellence recommends six action strategies to help local governments build their future workforce, and briefly discusses that one of the biggest challenges facing local governments is managing a diverse workforce. Download the report here.

4 Factors for Success in Neighborhood Transformation Planning

ICMA recently published this U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) case study on three communities participating in HUD’s Choice Neighborhood program.  This post on the report discusses the importance of identifying all the diverse community members’ needs and engaging them in the planning process. Discover the factors for planning success here.

LeadershipTalks: Jay Covington on Building an Inclusive City

Jay Covington, chief administrative officer of Renton, Washington, and recipient of a 2015 Local Government Excellence Award, discusses how a growth in minority population acted as a “wake-up” call to recruit and engage diverse individuals. Read more about building an inclusive city here.


Moving Diversity Forward by Walking Boldly Toward Our Biases

2015 ICMA Annual Conference keynote speaker Verna Myers challenged attendees to reflect on what is needed to move diversity and inclusion forward. This article highlights her discussion on the value of diversity in local government and how inclusion is different than diversity. Read more here.


Discover more resources on Diversity & Inclusion and Community Diversity by visiting those topic pages.


In the Know CTA

Douglas Shontz

Knowledge Network Research and Content Development Associate


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