City Cultural Diversity Award

"Making an Affirmative Difference in Our Nation's Cities"

Sponsored by the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials of the National League of Cities

Purpose and Focus

Recognizing the growing diversity in America's cities, the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO), a leading voice for African American leadership in local government and a constituency group of the National League of Cities (NLC), believes that diversity should be reflected in the activities of America's cities and towns. 

As a result, NBC-LEO established the City Cultural Diversity Awards as a means of demonstrating quality and innovation in relation to the many aspects of cultural diversity.  This awards program is designed to: 1) encourage citizen involvement in local government-sponsored activities; and 2) enhance and show the appreciation of cultural diversity as a way of life in our municipalities.

The City Cultural Diversity Awards Program has been developed to showcase examples of how cities achieve excellence in diversity. It also promotes the positive results of "a total community collaboration."  The awards are given to honor community leadership in developing creative and effective programs to improve cultural diversity.

Eligibility Criteria and Entry Fee

National League of Cities member cities are eligible to apply.  An entry fee is required to apply for the awards program and is determined by a municipality's population.  A total of four City Cultural Diversity first place awards will be presented at the annual March Celebrate Diversity Breakfast at the National League of Cities Congressional City Conference.  The population categories and corresponding entry fees are as follows:

  • Under 25,000 population - $200 entry fee
  • 25,001 - 100,000 population - $300 entry fee
  • 100,001 - 400,000 population - $400 entry fee
  • Over 400,001 population - $500 entry fee

The City Cultural Diversity Awards application must focus on one municipal program.  If you have additional programs, they must be submitted separately with an additional application form and entry fee.  A program must demonstrate that it has:

  • Enhanced the quality of life of your community for the improvement of equal opportunity and for the provision of greater access to government and government services by multiracial and multicultural populations; and
  • Increased citizen participation in government and community activities by all segments of the community.

Each program must demonstrate that cultural diversity is an ongoing and recognized effort in your city or town.  Programs may cover government-generated or community-based efforts in your municipality.  All awards recipients will be chosen by an independent panel of judges represented in the NBC-LEO City Cultural Diversity Awards Program Committee.  Judges will be represented from NBC-LEO as well as some of the other NLC constituency or member groups.

Requirements and Application

  1. Municipalities must be an NLC member city. Candidates must complete the application and send it in PDF format to No paper copies will be accepted.
  2. Applicants must FED-EX application fee to: ATTN: 2015 City Cultural Diversity Award Program - 1301 Pennsylvania Avenue Suite 550 Washington DC 20004. The program accepts check only and it must be made payable to NLC/NBC-LEO corresponding with the appropriate population category.
  3. All entries must be received by the last Friday in January.
  4. The attached application form has five parts - a title page that should be signed by the Chief Executive Officer in your community; a two-sentence description and a two-page executive summary that should have information highlighting your city's program; responses to three core questions about your city's cultural diversity program; and optional exhibit materials.
  5. Deliberations by a panel of judges occur every mid-February. A press release will be made available to awards winners shortly after the awards are announced. Winners will be notified prior to the NLC Congressional City Conference so that winners can be represented and honored at the Celebrate Diversity Breakfast awards ceremony in Washington, DC.

Awards Recognition

Awards recipients will be recognized during the NLC Celebrate Diversity Breakfast held annually during NLC's Congressional City Conference.

Assistance and Questions

For any questions related to the City Cultural Diversity Awards, please contact Membership Services at NLC 202-626-3100.