City Cultural Diversity Awards


  • Justin Price
September 5, 2017

Congratulations to our 2020 Diversity Awards Winners!

The National League of Cities has selected eight municipalities for their innovative programs promoting inclusivity and diversity as the winners of its 2020 Cultural Diversity Awards.  

Submissions for the awards program were grouped by size, and evaluated for creativity, impact on the community and scope of the program.

“The demographics of our cities, towns, and villages are changing and our local elected officials are responding positively to ensure our communities are inclusive, welcoming, and adaptive,” said NLC President and Los Angeles City Council President Pro Tempore Joe Buscaino. “We are excited to celebrate these municipalities that are leading the way in embracing diversity.”

The winning communities: 

2020 Winners

  • 50,000 population and under
    • City of Sunny Isles Beach, Florida – Sunny Isles Beach International Internship Program
    • Northglenn, Colorado – Northglenn Arts


  • 50,001-200,000 population category
    • South San Francisco, California – Diversity: It’s In the DNA
    • Auburn, Washington – Cultural Diversity/Health Equity in the Auburn Community


  • 200,001-500,000 population category
    • Riverside, California – Riverside NextGen Farmer Training Program
    • Arlington, Texas – World Language Storytimes


  • Over 500,000 population category
    • Dallas, Texas – CulturePassDallas


In 1995, the National League of Cities National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO), established the City Cultural Diversity Awards as a means of demonstrating quality and innovation in the many aspects of cultural diversity. This award program is designed to:

  • Encourage citizen involvement in local government-sponsored activities;
  • Enhance and show the appreciation of cultural diversity as a way of life in our municipalities.

The City Cultural Diversity Awards Program showcases 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.

Award Eligibility Criteria and Entry Fee

Only the National League of Cities member cities is eligible to apply.  An entry fee of $100.00 is required to apply for the award program in a specific population category. Up to four City Cultural Diversity first place awards will be presented at the next Congressional City Conference. The awards will be broken down by the following population categories: 

  • The 50,000 and under population category.
  • The 50,001 – 200,000 population category.
  • The 200,001 – 500,000 population category.
  • The over 500,000 population category.

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:

  1. 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;
  2. That it has increased citizen participation in government and community activities by all segments of the community;
  3. 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. Each program should ensure that its staff is diverse or exemplifies diversity.

All award recipients will be chosen by an independent panel of judges, the City Cultural Diversity Awards Program Committee made up of representatives from each of the constituency groups.

Award Application Requirements

NLC is currently accepting submissions for the City Cultural Diversity Awards. The deadline for submission is Friday, January 24, 2020. 

  1. Municipalities that apply must be current members of the National League of Cities.
  2. Municipalities must submit their applications and any additional materials using the online application form by January 24, 2020.
    The City Cultural Diversity Awards Program
    c/o National League of Cities, Constituency Group Programs
    660 N. Capitol Street, NW
    Suite 450
    Washington, DC 20001
  3. The application must be accompanied by the appropriate entry fee for the selected population category and made payable to the National League of Cities. These fees are for the expressed purpose of implementing the awards program and are non-refundable.
  4. All entries must be received by January 24, 2020. Previous award-winning programs cannot be reentered. However, the same city may re-apply and submit a different program.
  5. A separate application and fee are required for each submitted project.
  6. The application 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 highlight your city’s program; responses to three core questions about your city’s cultural diversity program; and optional exhibit materials.
  7. Winning municipalities will be notified of their status prior to the NLC Congressional City Conference. The awards are presented at the Celebrate Diversity Breakfast. Complimentary tickets to the Celebrate Diversity Breakfast will be provided to the winning municipality; any travel costs associated with attending CCC or the Celebrate Diversity Breakfast are the responsibility of the winning municipality. 


Past Honorees

Award recipients are recognized each year during the Diversity Awards Breakfast held during NLC’s Congressional City Conference.

Apply Now!