Black History Month: How Local Governments Embrace Social Equality

BLOG POST | Feb 12, 2015

Black History Month is an “annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. History” (History Channel).  After watching the History Channel’s video on the “Origins of Black History,” I began wondering: how do local governments embrace and promote diversity in their communities?

Within the Knowledge Network resources there are multiple examples of local organizations striving to create social equality.  Social equality can lead to equal opportunities, and greater achievements for all members of society.  Here are some of the top resources I found on social equality and diversity on the Knowledge Network:

  • A great example of promoting change and culture health is the City of Burlington’s Legacy Plan Summary.  This legacy action plan provides a community blueprint to match their 2030 vision.  One of the goals in this blueprint is a commitment to diversity and inclusion of minority/ethnically diverse residents of color.
  • The City of Hampton developed a Citizens’’ Unity Commission to deal with the challenges of diverse community demographics.
  • Read this member spotlight on Debra D. Mckenzie, senior deputy county administrator for San Joaquin County, CA.  Mckenzie served as board president, in 2011, for Institute for the Development of Emerging Area Leaders (IDEAL).  IDEAL embraces the diversity of the area and equip their graduates with an awareness of critical issues facing the region.  Mckenzie was also the recipient of the 2014 Workplace Diversity Scholarship.
  • In 2012 this case study (*Premium Content), on celebrating Black History Month in Round Rock, TX, was nominated for ICMA’s Annual Awards Program.
  • This case study examines the extent to which social equity activities are included within an integrated approach to sustainability how social equity is defined, and the level of commitment of local governments in addressing equity issues.
  • This ICMA webinar explains how promoting diversity and inclusion in the fire service isn’t just about creating a better working environment. It’s about safety.

How does your community foster social equality? Please post comments below.          


Douglas Shontz

Knowledge Network Intern


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