Equity and Inclusivity Sessions at the 2018 ICMA Annual Conference

These ICMA Annual Conference sessions focus on being a more inclusive and diverse local government organization and community.

ARTICLE | Aug 2, 2018

Equity and Inclusivity are core values to ICMA, our members, and our member communities. Cities, counties, towns, and villages across the country and around the world are having conversations around equity and inclusivity, identifying aspects of work that can be more inclusive, engaging diverse residents in outreach or programming, and bringing awareness to and challenging historical and institutional bias. Equity and Inclusivity programming can be found throughout the 2018 ICMA Annual Conference. Here are a few of the many offerings you will find in Baltimore this year. 

Saturday, September 22

  • 3rd Annual ICMA University and League of Women in Government Symposium | 1–4 p.m.
  • Exploring the History of Institutional Racism: Creating a Path to Racial Understanding | 1–4:30 p.m.

Sunday, September 23

  • ICMA Annual Leadership Institute Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Are Policies Enough? | 8:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
  • Luncheon for Women in Professional Local Government Management Crossing the Line: Harassment in the Workplace | 12:45–2:45 p.m.
  • Networking Mixer: All Hands-on Deck! ICMA/ELGL/LWG Networking Event | 7-9 p.m.
  • Local Government Hispanic Network Annual Dinner | 6:30 -8:30 p.m.

Monday, September 24

  • Inspirational Breakfast | 7–8:15 a.m.
  • Leadership in Turbulent Times. Keynote: Doris Kearns Goodwin | 8:30–9:30 a.m.
  • Modern Approaches to Overcoming Social Inequities | 9:45–10:45 a.m.
  • Western Police District Station Renovation: More Than a Building | 9:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
  • Affordable Housing: The What and the How | 9:45–11 a.m
  • What’s Race Got to Do with It? | 11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
  • Structural Racism: A Tale of Two Baltimore Neighborhoods | 12:45–3:15 p.m.
  • Staffing for the Future: Does Your Community Need an Equity Officer? | 1:30–2:30 p.m.
  • Project Implicit | 2:45–3:45 p.m.
  • Immigrants and Communities | 3:30-4 p.m.
  • The Police and Community Relationship: Baltimore's Experience Monday | 4-5 p.m.
  • CivicPRIDE Mixer | 4–5 p.m

Tuesday, September 25

  • Unleashing the Potential of Teams and Individuals. Keynote: Greg Bell | 9–10 a.m.
  • Dedication to the Profession: The Balancing Act of Being a Parent & a Chief Executive | 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
  • Power Imbalances: Implementing Integrity in the Workplace | 2–3 p.m.
  • Think Strategically about the Next Steps in Your Career: Aiming for the Top Position | 2–3 p.m.
  • Equity and Inclusion: How to Recruit and Retain Underrepresented Minorities | 3:15–4:15 p.m.
  • Putting People to Work: Strategies to Combat Homelessness within Your Community | 3:15–3:45 p.m.

Wednesday, September 26

  • Evolve, Adapt, Inspire. Keynote: Wes Moore | 9–11 a.m.  
  • It Wasn’t Easy, but I Did It Anyway | 11:15 a.m.–12:45 p.m.
  • Toolkit for Difficult Conversations in Your Community | 11:15 a.m.–12:45 p.m.

Full Descriptions 

Educational Sessions

Staffing for the Future: Does Your Community Need an Equity Officer? Monday, Sept. 24, 1:30–2:30 p.m.

By adding new positions or departments that focus on equity and inclusion throughout organizations and communities, local governments have a golden opportunity to increase trust among residents and address pressing issues faced by diverse communities. Learn from current equity officers about the benefits of having an internal equity and inclusion professional and the keys to hiring the best candidate for the job. Elizabeth Pauli, City Manager, City of Tacoma, Patricia Efiom, Equity and Empowerment Coordinator, Evanston, Illinois; Brion Oaks, Chief Equity Officer, Austin, Texas

Project Implicit Monday, Sept. 24, 2:45–3:45 p.m.

Implicit bias refers to the attitudes and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control that affect our conceptions, actions, and decisions. This session, cosponsored by the Local Government Hispanic Network and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators, will examine how implicit bias affects our everyday decisions and teach you how to unlearn some of your implicit biases. Rolando Fernandez, Capital Contracting Officer, Austin, Texas; Cheri Wilson, Senior Research Scientist, General Dynamics Information Technology, Rockville, Maryland

Equity and Inclusion: How to Recruit and Retain Underrepresented Minorities Tuesday, Sept. 25, 3:15–4:15 p.m.

This session discusses case studies of local governments that are successfully recruiting and retaining underrepresented minorities. Learn the characteristics of “beyond compliance” programs and how these programs might be replicated in your community. It also offers career-pathing strategies for women and underrepresented groups. Kendra L. Smith, PhD, Associate Director for Community Engagement and Research, Office of Community Engagement, Center for Population Health Sciences, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California

Modern Approaches to Overcoming Social Inequities Monday, Sept. 24, 9:45–10:45 a.m.

Explore how technology enables communities to leverage scarce resources to aid their less fortunate residents in such areas as homelessness, affordable housing, access to health care, and the opioid epidemic. Presented by Esri.

Affordable Housing: The What and the How Monday, Sept. 24, 9:45–11 a.m.

Our communities must meet the needs of all our residents, so they can sustain themselves in the future. Providing affordable housing is one way to fulfill this task. This session will provide tools and ideas for working with partners from the private and nonprofit sectors to build quality, well-managed properties that serve the housing needs of our residents.

Think Strategically about the Next Steps in Your Career: Aiming for the Top Position Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2:00–3:00 p.m.

A panel of recently promoted managers will discuss their first year as top executives, how they knew they were ready for promotion, and the surprises. This session is cosponsored by the Local Government Hispanic Network and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators. Tanisha Briley, City Manager, City of Cleveland Heights, OH; Timothy Hemstreet, County Administrator, County of Loundon, VA; Hyun Kim City Manager, City of Fife, WA; Bert Lumbreras, City Manager, City of San Marcos, TX.

Power Imbalances: Implementing Integrity in the Workplace Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2:00–3:00 p.m.

This session will explore the impact and consequences of sexual harassment and gender bias in local government organizations. Learn how best to identify and handle these harmful behaviors before they result in the loss of talent and trust. Heidi Voorhees, President, GovHR USA, Northbrook, Illinois Jenny Haruyama, City Manager, Scotts Valley, California; Kevin Karpinski, Partner, Karpinski, Colaresi and Karp, P.A., Baltimore, Maryland

Special Events

3rd Annual ICMA University and League of Women in Government Symposium Saturday, Sept. 22, 1–4 p.m.

Preregistration is required for this symposium and there is an additional fee of $25. Join your colleagues for the 3rd Annual ICMA University + League of Women in Government Symposium. This preconference event focuses on trending issues that are important to not only local government women, but to everyone who is striving for inclusivity and gender equity in their organizations. This year’s speaker will prove to be as thought provoking as prior symposium speakers. So, mark your calendars and make your travel plans to Baltimore early for this not-to-miss event. Joanne Lipman, Author, Journalist, New York, New York; Fran Mainella, Fran Mainella Consulting, LLC, Clemson, South Carolina; Angelica Wedell, Marketing Director, National Research Center, Inc., Boulder, Colorado

Inspirational Breakfast Monday, Sept. 24, 7–8:15 a.m.

Ericka Alston-Buck, named one of the Baltimore Sun’s 25 Women to Watch in 2017, is the chief strategist at EAB Strategy & IMPACT. As the founder of the Kids Safe Zone, Ericka, a Baltimore native, provided 150 children with a safe place after school for recreation, mentoring, and homework. She also served as the CEO for Maryland Community Health Initiatives, Inc., which includes the Kids Safe Zone, residential housing for women and children, and the Penn North recovery center—the same center she once attended when recovering from a drug addiction. Ericka will share how she was inspired to step out of her comfort zone to do great things in her community, and show how we can be leaders who inspire positive change in our communities. $35

Luncheon for Women in Professional Local Government Management Crossing the Line: Harassment in the Workplace Sunday, Sept. 23, 12:45–2:45 p.m.

It may be the defining moment for women in every profession—our chance to determine the kind of workplaces we want and the kind of culture we support. Led by Dr. Joan Dubinsky, independent ethics advisor to the board of directors for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, we will discuss what kinds of behaviors cross the line; how we can and should respond; and how we can reinforce respect, fairness, and justice in our profession. Joan previously served as the chief ethics officer for the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, and the American Red Cross. $45 Joan Dubinsky, Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy and the Heller School of Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts.

CivicPRIDE Mixer Monday, Sept. 24, 4:00–5:00 p.m.

Join CivicPRIDE and ELGL at the fourth annual mixer to celebrate another year of advancement for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) professionals in city and county management. This is an outstanding opportunity to support and connect with friends and colleagues over predinner refreshments. Look for registration details as we get closer to the conference!

Networking Mixer: All Hands-on Deck! ICMA/ELGL/LWG Networking Event Sunday, Sept. 23, 7:00–9:00 p.m.

Preregistration is required for this event for a complimentary beverage ticket, but drop-ins are welcome. Affiliate Equity Advancement Mixer presented by CivicPride, ELGL, ICMA, I-NAPA, LGHN, LWG, NACA, NFBPA, and WLG. Join ICMA, Emerging Local Government Leaders (ELGL), the League of Women in Government, and other friends for another mix and mingle with managers, up-and-comers, students, and everyone in between. All are invited to this Sunday evening following the Welcoming Reception. Wear your name badge and bring your business cards!

Local Government Hispanic Network Annual Dinner, Sunday, Sept. 23 , 6:30-8:30 p.m.

At the Lord Baltimore Hotel, which is within walking distance of the convention center. Reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:15 p.m. The cost is $75 per person. Seating is limited. Visit the Local Government Hispanic Network website to register.

Roundtables

What’s Race Got to Do with It? Monday, Sept. 24, 11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m.

Come discuss how to start or continue conversations about race in your community. Learn what racial equity means to public policies, identify the difference between diversity and inclusion, and hear about success stories occurring throughout the country. Carla J. Kimbrough from the National Civic League facilitates the discussion.

The Police and Community Relationship: Baltimore's Experience Monday, Sept. 24, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

The Western Police District is one of Baltimore’s most violent. In the fall of 2015, the city experienced tremendous unrest following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who was found unconscious at the Western District Station with fatal neck injuries suffered while in police custody in April 2015. The station was the setting of multiple clashes between protesters and police officers. Today however, it has become a positive hub for community activity. During this session, you’ll have the opportunity to meet with Major Briscoe from the district office and discuss how the police and community relationship can improve quality of life. 

Dedication to the Profession: The Balancing Act of Being a Parent & a Chief Executive Tuesday, Sept. 25, 11:45 - 12:45 p.m.

This roundtable will discuss the time, energy and methods people need to be both successful parents and senior level executive employees. Work life and home life can often be very hectic, but it is possible to be a city manager and a parent! Hear the tips of the trade from other parents who continue to promote within the profession while being a great parent. 

Learning Labs

Putting People to Work: Strategies to Combat Homelessness within Your Community Tuesday, Sept. 25 3:15–3:45 p.m.

This session explores the critical wraparound strategies that Riverside, California, is implementing to combat homelessness. Attendees learn the key components of developing and implementing a successful housing and employment program for the homeless, and receive suggestions for leveraging strategic partnerships and existing resources. Stephanie Holloman, Human Resources Director, Riverside, California

Immigrants and Communities Monday, Sept. 24 3:30-4:00 p.m.

The results of immigration are most intensely experienced at the local level, and diversifying communities are faced with a range of opportunities and challenges associated with this population change. Hear findings from a recent ICMA effort to document community policies and practices dealing with issues related to immigration. Pilar Parra, Research Associate and Senior Lecturer, and Max Pfeffer, Executive Dean, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

Field Demos

Structural Racism: A Tale of Two Baltimore Neighborhoods Monday, Sept. 24, 12:45–3:15 p.m.

Baltimore’s Bolton Hill neighborhood is a compact collection of 19th-century rowhouses. In response to redlining in the 20th century, its predominantly white, middle-class residents successfully lobbied for various neighborhood improvements. In the 1970s, neighbors pooled resources to fund mortgages for buyers the banks would not service and petitioned to become a local historic district, providing tax incentives for historic preservation. A few blocks away is the Upton/Marble Hill neighborhood, the historic center of professional black Baltimore before fair housing laws allowed for desegregation. Although the homes here are identical to those in Bolton Hill, many are abandoned and valued at a fraction of their neighbors’. Despite its strong legacy of African-American achievement, the neighborhood today demonstrates the effects of structural racism in Baltimore. This demonstration will involve walking, so wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather. The bus trip takes 10–15 minutes. $20.

Western Police District Station Renovation: More Than a Building Monday, September 24; 9:45 am – 12:15 pm

The Western Police District covers about 3-square miles and is one of Baltimore’s most violent areas. During the 2015 unrest following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who was found unconscious at the Western District Station with fatal neck injuries suffered while in police custody in April 2015, the Western District police station was the setting of multiple clashes between protesters and police officers. After the worst of the rioting, the station was blocked off from the community by barricades and watched over by National Guard troops. Today, the Western District station is a very different place following extensive renovations to the building through a public-private partnership. The project was announced in May 2016 as a way to improve the relationship between police and the community in West Baltimore. The station has become a positive hub for community activity; about 50 community members provided input on the station renovations.

University Forums

It Wasn’t Easy, but I Did It Anyway Wednesday, Sept. 26, 11:15 a.m.–12:45 p.m.

This forum is an opportunity to celebrate women in the profession who have not only earned the respect and recognition of their peers by achieving the role of CAO but also have been selected as their community’s first female manager. These groundbreakers can help local government professionals recognize and understand the backgrounds, accomplishments, and obstacles that women face on their way to achieving their professional goals. Come join the conversation! 3 Forum Leaders: Randy Reid, southeast regional director, ICMA, Gainesville, Florida, (facilitator); Elizabeth Dragon, city manager, Keene, New Hampshire; Gina Holt, city manager, Springfield, Tennessee; Margie Rose, city manager, Corpus Christi, Texas; Julie Underwood, city manager, Mercer Island, Washington; and Christina Volkers, city manager, Moorhead, Minnesota

Toolkit for Difficult Conversations in Your Community Wednesday, Sept. 26, 11:15 a.m.–12:45 p.m.

Conversations about social equity and inclusion are crucial, but they can sometimes be difficult. With roots in historical inequities, these issues are influenced today by broader economic injustices. Responses must be comprehensive and multifaceted. Participants in this forum will work with experienced facilitators to develop dialogue skills and gain insights for conducting successful community conversations. This process can be used for a wide range of other topics as well, such as creating a safe workplace, budgeting, and land use development. 3 Forum Leaders: Erricka Bridgeford, training director, and Lorig Charkoudian, PhD, executive director, Community Mediation Maryland, Takoma Park, Maryland

University Workshops

Exploring the History of Institutional Racism: Creating a Path to Racial Understanding Saturday, Sept. 22, 1:00–4:30 p.m.

This workshop will explore the history of racism in the United States and how racism has been embedded in governmental institutions from slavery at the country’s founding to modern mass incarceration. It will examine how consequences of institutional racism contribute to the disparate perceptions and experiences in today’s society, and it will look at efforts that some cities have made to achieve “truth and reconciliation,” bridge the gaps in racial understanding, and promote social equity. Ron Carlee, director, Center for Regional Excellence, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia

ICMA Annual Leadership Institute Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Are Policies Enough?  Sunday, Sept. 23, 8:30 a.m.–12:00

The ICMA Annual Leadership Institute provides an opportunity to connect members across generations and experience levels who share an interest in and commitment to leadership development. The institute requires a separate registration fee of $195. How do policies shape a culture and how-to policies reflect a culture? Can policies alone shape practices? In this workshop, we will focus on sexual harassment in the workplace as a way to explore these questions. As we bring international, national, and academic perspectives to engage participants, we hope to learn from each other to further the conversation of gender equity in local government. Practice Groups: 1, 8 Institute Facilitator: John Nalbandian, professor emeritus of public administration, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas

Keynotes

Leadership in Turbulent Times Monday, Sept. 24, 8:30–9:30 a.m.

Drawing upon her new book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, Pulitzer Prizewinning author and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin returns to ICMA’s keynote stage focusing on four presidents—Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson—to explore their unique journeys to recognize themselves as leaders: their early development, growth through adversity, and ultimately their exercise of leadership. Although set apart in background, abilities, and temperament, these men shared a fierce ambition and a deep-seated resilience that enabled them to surmount uncommon adversity. At their best, all four were guided by a sense of moral purpose. At moments of great challenge, they were able to summon their talents to enlarge the opportunities and lives of others. In today’s polarized world, these stories of authentic leadership in times of apprehension and fracture take on a singular urgency.

Unleashing the Potential of Teams and Individuals Tuesday, Sept. 25, 9:00–10 a.m.

Throughout time, people have searched for the precise blend of ingredients that create transformational leadership. While the list is varied, Greg Bell believes that there is one leadership characteristic that influences and strengthens all others: courage. Great leaders are willing to swim against the stream. They don’t wait for their fear to subside; resilient, they confront it head-on. Everyone has the capacity to be courageous. Through powerful stories and eye-opening anecdotes based on his book, Water the Bamboo: Unleashing the Potential of Teams and Individuals, Greg shows you how to unleash your own tenacity and cultivate the bravery and leadership potential of those around you.

Evolve, Adapt, Inspire Wednesday, Sept. 26, 9:00–11:00 a.m. 

Baltimore native Wes Moore has been busy since 2011, when he told ICMA conference attendees how educational opportunities, strong parental influence, mentors, and a community support network helped him transcend the fate of a man with the same name who lived just blocks away and took a tragically different path, ending up in prison. In 2014, Wes founded and became chairman of Baltimore’s Bridge EdU, an organization that helps students from marginalized populations navigate higher education and prepare for successful careers. Last year, he was appointed CEO of Robin Hood, New York City’s largest foundation with a sole focus on alleviating poverty. In an energizing, conference closing presentation, Wes will inspire you to see solutions instead of problems, overcome challenges, reach higher, lift up others, and find the power and purpose to achieve any goal.

Need one more reason to join us? You can save the most money on your registration by registering on or August 23!

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