City Cultural Diversity Awards

City Cultural Diversity Awards
City Cultural Diversity Awards

Applications for the Diversity Awards Are Now Open!

The National League of Cities recognizes and celebrates the growing diversity of America's communities and believes that diversity should be reflected in the activities of all cities and towns across the nation.

Every year, NLC's Constituency Groups select 6-8 cities from a pool of applicants who have developed innovative ways of supporting and promoting diversity in their communities, and announces the winners at the Congressional City Conference. 

Scroll down to apply to be next year's winners!

2018 Winners: 

50,000 and under:

50,001 - 200,000:

200,000 and over:

In 1995, the National League of Cities, in partnership with the National Black Caucus Local Elected Leaders (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 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 National League of Cities member cities are eligible to apply.  An entry fee of $100.00 is required to apply for the award program in a specific population category. Note that these are new population categories.  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, with representatives from each of the constituency groups.

Award Application Requirements

At this time, the submission period for the City Cultural Diversity Awards is closed. Please check back soon for more information on the next submission period.

  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 3, 2018.
    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 4, 2019. 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 so that they may make arrangements to attend the Breakfast. While complimentary tickets will be provided to the Breakfast, any travel costs associated with attending the Breakfast are the responsibility of the winning municipality. 


Past Honorees

The 2017 award recipients were recognized during the Diversity Awards Breakfast held during NLC's Congressional City Conference.

50,000 and under population:
First Place:
East Meets West Festival, Morrisville, N.C.
Second Place: Better Together Initiative, Decatur, Ga.

50,001-200,000 population:
First Place: “Liberty and Justice for All” Freedom Walkway’s Ode to Civil Rights, Rock Hill, S.C.
Second Place: Westminster Inclusivity Board, Westminster, Colo.

First Place:
BIC Newcomers Pipeline, Winston-Salem, N.C.
Second Place: Office of International and Immigrant Affairs, Aurora, Colo.

Read the press release recognizing the winners.

Apply Now!