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For 107 years, the ICMA Annual Conference has been the pinnacle of local government management events. This unique experience joins thousands of local government management professionals to share and learn new ideas, strategies, resources, and solutions for managing local government in today’s complex environment. Four days of learning, inspiration, and connection leaves attendees equipped with the tools and support they need to make their communities a better place to live, work, and play.

With providing the most impactful experience in mind, ICMA stays abreast of the latest and most important issues affecting local government today. During a time where equity work is one of the most talked-about topics in communities worldwide, it is crucial that local government leaders are equipped to answer their communities’ call for equity. In order to give conference-goers the resources to do just that, ICMA has curated 18 unique sessions geared towards understanding, participating, and spearheading equity work in your community. These sessions include presentations, roundtable discussions, and on-demand courses to provide a unique learning experience to fit every attendee.     


Whether you’re new to equity work, or already immersed in it and need some new ideas, the ICMA Annual Conference has a presentation for you. There is not only one way to look at equity, and equity work does not stop at the office of the chief equity officer (or whoever is spearheading this work within your organization). These specially crafted presentations are designed to give you the tools to apply an equity lens to every facet of your organization and community. The following list of presentations provide a unique opportunity to learn about new approaches to equity work, gender equality efforts, understanding and undoing bias within your community, equity in budgeting and recruitment, and what implementing new equity practices might look like within your community.

  • New Voices, New Approach: Local government and the communities they serve can be unequivocally changed for the better with the contribution of new voices, and ultimately, new ideas. This session explores the positive effects of welcoming new voices into the fold, the implementation of innovative and collaborative boards designed to address social justice issues, and steps needed to gain counsel and leadership buy-in.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Meets Succession PlanningA Perfect Storm and Win-win for Local Governments!: Local government organizations are currently challenged with diversifying their employment ranks at all levels, while simultaneously facing record retirements and an urgent need to plan for succession. This session teaches participants how to integrate their organization’s recruitment/selection efforts and succession planning with diversity, equity, and inclusion goals in mind. Participants will leave prepared with a toolkit designed to engage their community, mentor/invest in employees, and create a diverse pipeline for positions in all disciplines to not only attract but retain new recruits.
  • Equity in Budgeting: From Idea to Reality: Local governments have begun to integrate equity considerations into their budget, but not every organization knows how to approach it. Participants will leave this session with a better understanding of how placing an equity lens on budgeting helps lead to better decisions in their community.
  • Advancing Racial Equity: It’s Time to Operationalize: Washington County and the city of Boulder have moved toward operationalizing racial equity through the creation and adoption of a Racial Equity Plan. This session guides participants in creating and rolling out the tools necessary for advancing racial equity within their community, while holding colleagues and leadership accountable.
  • Responding Locally to a National Movement for Racial Equity: Amid a national outcry for racial equity, each community has a different response. This session provides participants a clearer understanding of the national movement for racial equality as it relates to the local level, and how to establish internal and external teams to help guide their organizations to a place of increased diversity and inclusivity.
  • Implicit Bias: Interrupting the Script: Despite laws that have made racial discrimination illegal, racial disparities still manage to thrive. Participants will leave this session with a better understanding of both individual and implicit bias, as well as what can be done to interrupt these biases in their organizations.
  • SheLeadsGov Presents: Accelerating Equity with the 16/50 Project: Tackling Gender Diversity in Local Government Management: Since its inception in 2018, the 16/50 Project of Michigan has zeroed in on the single goal of advancing women in the local government profession. This session allows participants to identify and enact the tools needed to make gender balance a reality in their own communities and replicate all or parts of applicable programming to help advance women in municipal leadership roles.


Roundtable sessions are the perfect opportunity to learn from your peers and let your voice be heard. Each ICMA Annual Conference roundtable session covers topics that allow attendees to see equity work in a whole new light, while hearing from and sharing with fellow attendees. The following list of roundtable sessions give participants a space to learn and collaborate with their peers on establishing a culture of equity, understanding/addressing racial disparities, leadership practices in relation to DEI work, and gender equality efforts.

  • Establishing a Culture of Equity Roundtable Discussion: Talking about equity work is important but building a culture around equity in your community is where real change happens. In this roundtable session, participants will join Fellows of the ICMA Kettering NCL Leadership Institute on Race Equity and Inclusion and members of the ICMA Equity Cohort Institute to discuss how to create and sustain a culture of equity within organizations and communities.
  • Using the Lens of Equity: A Holistic Approach to Understanding and Addressing Operational and Systemic Racial Disparities in Your Community through Public Child Welfare: Civil servants can make real change when they are able to fully understand their infrastructure and both its operational and systemic issues. In this roundtable session, participants will engage in transparent discussion about historical, political, and economical racial disparities and how to identify and combat them in their communities.
  • The Power of Belonging: Ottawa County established their first office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and have accumulated various leadership lessons, leading best practices, and practical tips for continuing on in this journey, all while leveraging the power of belonging to move the work forward. In this roundtable session, participants will discuss leveraging ownership of DEI work through the power of belonging and identify the leadership lessons needed to begin, continue, or improve their DEI efforts.
  • SheLeadsGov Strategic Huddle: The SheLeadsGov Network includes Women Leading Government (WLG) state chapters, the League of Women in Government, Legacy Project, 16/50 Project, and other local government women’s initiatives. This roundtable session provides a space for these organizations to share their activities, plans, and programming with each other, members, allies, women wanting to start chapters in their states, and those who are interested in other's efforts.

On-Demand Sessions

Exclusively attending ICMA Digital or want even more equity content after attending live sessions? The ICMA Annual Conference on-demand sessions provide equity-focused content at your fingertips. The following list of on-demand sessions covers equitable climate resilience, prioritizing accessibility, racial equity success stories, and how to redevelop communities to be more equitable.

  • Redeveloping Cities and Counties to Achieve Racial Equity: Understanding Impact Measures for Comprehensive Well-being: Local government policies and practices need to be realigned through racial equity and collaborative decision-making in order to equitably address community needs. This session allows viewers to identify strategies to put racially equitable coproduction into policy and practice, realign local government processes to meet community needs, and create internal/external focused processes and outcome measures that advance racially equitable coproduction.
  • Creating Equitable Climate Resilient Communities: Many cities around the world are updating their climate change plans to create equitably climate-resilient communities. This session dives into two different cities’ climate change/resilience plans and how they revised their plans around equity principles. Viewers can use these lessons as a guide in their own journey to create more climate resilient communities.
  • City of Frisco, Texas Discussion of Racial Equity and Inclusion Success: The city of Frisco has been one of the fastest-growing and highly diverse communities in North America for over a decade, and as a result, they have taken a serious stance on diversity, equity, and inclusion since 2019. This session lays out how viewers can effectively respond to crisis, engage in dialogue with diverse community groups, and develop/manage a municipal DEI committee.
  • Unlocking the Mysteries of Access: Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act opens significant funding opportunities while greatly reducing the likelihood of access-related complaints and litigation, but it can be a challenge for even the most seasoned of leaders to sift through the layers of planning, funding, data collection, and more when it comes to developing effective self-evaluations and transition plans. This session gives viewers an understanding of ADA requirements for Title II entities, how to prevent government funding from being at risk, how to avoid access-related litigation, and lays out steps to develop a compliant ADA Transition Plan.

ICMA knows that equity concerns cannot be ignored, and the ICMA Annual Conference is ready to ensure that you leave informed, confident, and well-equipped to tackle this important work in your community. Attend any of the aforementioned sessions to receive the support you need to advance equity and create necessary change at the local level. There is still time to register for the in-person or digital experience if you haven’t signed up yet. The dynamic conversations, incomparable learning, and opportunities to connect with your local government peers are experiences you will take with you for a lifetime.


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