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DEI Resources for Local Governments

The resources below were developed by regional and national entities and are specifically tailored for municipal application. A short description of each resource is provided below.

Illinois Municipal League Model DEI Policy and Ordinance

Link: Model Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy (

Description: The Illinois Municipal League provides sample language for a model Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policy and ordinance. An ordinance from the City of Waukegan is included as a reference.

Local and Regional Government Alliance on Race & Equity (GARE)

GARE Advancing Racial Equity and Transforming Government

Link: Government Alliance on Race and Equity (

Description: GARE is a national network of governments working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all. In addition to offering trainings on advancing racial equity in municipal government, GARE has also developed tools and resources to assist governments in operationalizing racial equity, which have been used as a starting point for many municipalities in the Chicago region.

Highlighted Resources:

National League of Cities Race, Equity, and Leadership (REAL) Initiative

NLC Advancing Racial Equity in Your City

Link: Racial Equity Resources and Reports – National League of Cities (

Description: The National League of Cities REAL department offers tools, resources, and training designed to strengthen local leaders’ knowledge and capacity to eliminate racial disparities, heal racial divisions, and build more equitable communities.

Highlighted Resources: 

International City/County Management Association (ICMA)

ICMA Equity and Inclusion ToolkitLink: Race, Equity, and Social Justice |

Description: ICMA is an association representing professionals working in local government management. To support member engagement on issues related to equity, systemic racism, and social justice, ICMA develops and promotes programs and initiatives in all areas of service delivery, hiring practices, leadership development, community engagement, and workplace culture.

Highlighted Resources:

  • ICMA Equity and Inclusion Toolkit
    • This toolkit equips local governments with strategies and leading practices that are used in communities across the United States and abroad, along with corresponding resources that can be replicated in other communities. Based on the strategies identified in the toolkit, ICMA provides a set of key recommendations: (1) Consider the Impact; (2) Build Trust-based Relationships; (3) Review Current Policies; (4) Adopt Equitable Compensation Practices; (5) Establish Training Programs; (6) Discover Leaders; (7) Focus on Goals; (8) Make Small Gestures; (9) Communicate Effectively; (10) Engage Existing Staff; and (11) Be Conscious of Bias in Hiring Practices.
  • Glossary of Terms: Race, Equity, and Social Justice
    • This glossary is a tool for understanding common expressions related to race, equity, and social justice.

Advancing Equity in Year 2 of the Biden Administration

By Tracey Ross

Report cover with three smiling people on U.S. flag themed background.

Advancing Equity in Year 2 of the Biden Administration is a guide by PolicyLink and Race Forward to build the knowledge, skills, and mindsets required to build a meaningful foundation for racial equity throughout the federal government as outlined in the Biden Administration’s 2021 executive actions.

This guide includes a list of actions that should be taken by the federal government to begin meeting their stated goals in areas such as:

  • Racial Equity in Federal Government
  • Gender and Sexual Orientation
  • Equitable Pandemic Response
  • Immigration
  • and more

This guidance is provided to support continuing this important work.


Download the Toolkit

Also Available: Partnering with Federal Agencies to Advance Racial Equity

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