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Cities From Across The Nation Receive City Cultural Diversity Awards


WASHINGTON,  -- Four cities were honored this morning for implementing quality and innovative programs in communities to enhance and promote cultural diversity.  Each year, the City Cultural Diversity Awards recognize city programs which encourage citizen involvement and show an appreciation of cultural diversity.  The awards are sponsored by the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO), a constituency group of the National League of Cities (NLC).


Cities honored for 2010 are Enterprise, Ala.Woodridge, Ill.Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Milwaukee, Wis. Cities chosen as runners-up include Las Cruces, NMGainesville, Fla.; and Fort Worth, Texas.

Each city was celebrated this morning at NBC-LEO's annual Celebrate Diversity Breakfast during NLC's Congressional City Conference in Washington, DC.  Adolfo Carrion, Director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs, addressed attendees at this morning's breakfast.

For more information on the Congressional City Conference, visit http://www.nlccongressionalcityconference.org/.

Award-winning city programs:

  • Enterprise, Ala., hosted the Aviation Expo highlighting American, German and Russian military history, culture and traditions, including aircraft and food from different cultures.  The event drew more than 5,000 people, including international flight students from South America and the Middle East stationed at Fort Rucker, Ala.  For more information, contact Rachel Davis, Special Projects Coordinator, 334-348-2603, rdavis@cityofenterprise.net.
  • The Woodridge Diversity Committee in Woodridge, Ill., worked with youth to coordinate the development of theWoodridge Diversity Quilt to celebrate and educate on the benefits of a diverse community.  The finished quilt will be on permanent display at the Woodridge Public Library. For more information, contact Melissa Bohse, Management Analyst, 630-719-4709, mbohse@vil.woodridge.il.us.
  • Everybody Welcome: A Celebration of Culture and Diversity is a festival in Colorado Springs, Colo., where attendees enjoy dance, poetry and singing from various African, Native American, Indian, Asian and Caribbeancultures.  The city, as well as the Colorado Springs Diversity Forum and other community partners, make this festival possible each summer. For more information, contact Sue Skiffington Blumberg, Director of Public Communications, 719-385-5254, sskiffington-blumberg@springsgov.com or Shirley Martinez, co-chair, Colorado Springs Diversity Forum, 719-440-0675, smartinez@csu.org.
  • The Emerging Business Enterprise Program and Milwaukee Opportunities for Restoring Employment ordinance in Milwaukee, Wis., strive to attract and maintain minority businesses throughout the city.  The ordinance requires city contracts to engage emerging businesses, incorporate a prevailing wage requirement, provide apprenticeship training and employment opportunities for low income residents and operate a trades employment pool to be tapped by contractors.  For more information, contact Sharon Robinson, Director, Department of Administration, 414-286-3828, srobins@milwaukee.gov.

Runner-up programs:

  • In a partnership between the city of Las Cruces, NM, and New Mexico State University's International Programs, theWorld Culture in the Courtyard at Brannigan Cultural Center program highlights countries from around the world represented by the international students who attend the University and reside in Las Cruces.  The program showcases the diversity and customs of more than 75 countries, including IndiaChinaMexico, Korea, Chile,Cameroon and Germany through food, song, dance and other cultural traditions. For more information, contact Trey Williams, Policy Analyst, 575-541-2192, trwilliams@las-cruces.org.
  • The city of Gainesville, Fla., recently adopted a Dismantling Racism Initiative which raises awareness about race-relations and racism.  The city sponsors a film festival where citizens watch films dealing with race-related issues and then participate in open discussions regarding various incidents in the film.  For more information, contact Cecil E. Howard, Director, Office of Equal Opportunity, 352-334-5051, equalopp@cityofgainesville.org.
  • Fort Worth, Texas, created a Diversity Task Force in July 2009 to advise the City Manager on issues affecting the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in Fort Worth.  Specific areas of attention for the task force include employee training, increased awareness of the city's non-discrimination ordinance and improved communication between the city and its LGBT residents.  For more information, contact Fernando Costa, Assistant City Manager, 817-392-6122, Fernando.costa@fortworthgov.org.

The City Cultural Diversity Awards program was established in 1995 by NLC's NBC-LEO constituency group to promote cultural diversity in community governance through citizen and community participation. Winning cities are selected from a pool of applicants and are grouped according to population.

NBC-LEO President-Elect Charleta B. Tavares, Councilmember, Columbus, Ohio, chaired this year's awards competition.  Judges included Louvenia Mathison, Councilmember, Berkeley, Mo.Lavonta Williams, Councilmember, Wichita, Kan.;Helen Kawagoe, City Clerk, Carson, Calif.Greg Pettis, Councilmember, Cathedral City, Calif.Marie Lopez Rogers, Mayor,Avondale, Ariz.Carlos Silva, President Pro Tempore, Bridgeport, Conn.; and Edna Branch Jackson, Mayor Pro Tem,Savannah, Ga.

For more information on the City Cultural Diversity Awards, visit NBC-LEO's website at www.nbc-leo.org.  

The National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials was established in 1970.  A constituency group of the National League of Cities, NBC-LEO advocates for the interests of African-American local elected officials. Its mission is to provide African-American municipal officials and their colleagues with forums to share ideas, discussion groups to develop strategies for improving municipal governance, debates on policy issues and programs that contribute to the success of America's cities and towns.

The National League of Cities is the nation's oldest and largest organization devoted to strengthening and promoting cities as centers of opportunity, leadership and governance. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.  







SOURCE National League of Cities

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