Celebrating Cities Achieving Excellence in Diversity

The City Cultural Diversity Awards honor community leadership in developing creative and effective programs to improve cultural diversity.

These awards, established by the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials in 1995, were designed to encourage citizen involvement in local, government-sponsored activities and highlight appreciation of cultural diversity as a way of life in our municipalities. Today, the awards are hosted jointly by all of the NLC Constituency Groups.

In an effort to recognize quality and innovation in the many aspects of cultural diversity, this award program is designed to celebrate cities demonstrating quality and innovation in cultural diversity.

Award Details

Program Qualifications

The City Cultural Diversity Awards recognizes a municipality in each of four population tiers:

  • 50,000 and under population
  • 50,001 – 200,000 population
  • 200,001 – 500,000 population
  • 500,000 or more population

A program must demonstrate:

  1. It has enhanced the quality of life of your community for the improvement of equal opportunity and for the provision of greater access to city hall and government services by multiracial and multicultural populations.
  2. It has increased resident participation in government and local activities by all segments of the community.
  3. Cultural diversity is an ongoing and recognized effort in your municipality.

Programs may cover government-generated or community-based efforts in your municipality, and each program should ensure that its staff is diverse or exemplifies diversity.


The application must focus on one municipal program and one specific population tier. Additional programs must be submitted separately with an additional application form and entry fee. Previous award-winning programs cannot be reentered. However, a municipality may re-apply and submit a different program.

The application consists of six parts:

  1. Background Information
  2. Project Details
  3. Project Contact Information
  4. An executive summary that should highlight your city’s program
  5. Responses to three core questions about your city’s cultural diversity program
  6. Exhibit materials (optional)

Only National League of Cities current member cities are eligible to apply.


An application fee of $100.00 is required to apply for the award program. These fees are for the expressed purpose of implementing the awards program and are non-refundable.

Make checks payable to “National League of Cities.”

Upon filling out the application form, NLC will provide an email confirmation and an invoice with instructions on where to mail your check.

Winning Municipalities

All award recipients will be chosen by an independent panel of judges made up of representatives from each of the constituency groups.

The top finalist municipalities will be notified of their status prior to the NLC Congressional City Conference (CCC). The awards are presented at the Celebrate Diversity Breakfast at CCC. 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.

Apply by January 26, 2024

NLC is currently accepting submissions for the City Cultural Diversity Awards. All application materials and fees are due by January 26, 2024. Apply today!