Making the Future Different from Today

ARTICLE | Feb 15, 2017

One way to celebrate Black History month is by paving the way for the future black history makers. Are you feeding the pipeline by hiring and promoting people who reflect the diversity of the communities you serve? The Center for State and Local Government Excellence recently highlighted that recruiting and retaining employees is a top concern among local governments in 2017.  At this crossroads of diversity and workforce recruitment, ICMA established the Task Force on Strengthening Inclusion. Here are some goals the task force is working on right now:


Goal: Increase the Diversity of ICMA Membership

  • Develop partnerships with affiliate groups, such as the National Forum for Black Public Administrators, to create avenues for membership from a multitude of associations.

Goal: Increase the Visibility of Best Practices

  • Highlight and recognize local governments that make significant contributions to improving inclusiveness in local governance. You can view all of this work here.

Goal: Consistently Update the Community on Statistical Demographics

  • ICMA will regularly publish reports and announcements about the demographics of membership.

Goal: Improve the Key Skills of Local Government Leaders through ICMA Training Opportunities

  • ICMA is currently reviewing all current and future professional development opportunities to ensure they include key skills that support inclusive behavior.

Goal: Give Members Tools to Help Promote Inclusion

  • Through the development of ICMA toolkits and establishing the common language, members will be able to have courageous discussions around race and ethnicity.

Specific Actions include:

  • Being more intentional in including diversity as a key topic area in ICMA materials.
  • Creating new professional development offerings focused on diversity.
  • Ensuring that the ICMA Annual Conference content is richer in its focus on diversity and inclusion.
  • Updating the 18 Practices for Effective Local Government Leadership to reflect inclusion as a core leadership competency.
  • Continuing the NextUp initiative, promoting the tiered membership construct to increase membership in the association of local government staff who want to develop their professional skills, excel within their organization, and advance to local government leadership roles. And for managers, to encourage ICMA membership for their staff. Since the initiative's launch in 2015, ICMA has experienced over 30% growth in early- to mid-career members.
  • Working with ICMA affiliate partners, such as the International Hispanic Network and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators, to grow the student chapter program. To date, we have 74 student chapters and over 1,200 student members.
  • Improving communication and efforts to encourage members to run for the ICMA Executive Board, including a new session at the conference “What it takes to serve on the ICMA board: You can do it!”


This is only a sample of the Task Force on Strengthening Inclusiveness in the Profession’s work; find the full report here




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