ICMA is committed to providing workshops that are affordable, accessible, and designed to meet the specific needs of local government professionals. By partnering with localities, state associations, and universities in the delivery of these programs, we are able to reduce travel costs and provide high-quality workshops.

To reserve a workshop email: workshops@icma.org
Half-day workshops: $3,960 for states with a signed affiliation agreement with ICMA for up to 50 participants. Non-affiliated states pay an additional fee.


Workshop: Exploring the History of Institutional Racism: Creating a Path to Racial Understanding

In a 2016 survey, the Pew Research Center found that 45% of Whites thought that race relations are generally bad in the U.S., compared with 61% of Blacks/African Americans. 41% of Whites also thought that too much attention was being paid to racial issues, compared with only 22% of Blacks/African Americans. Similar gaps in perceptions between the races are reflected in numerous surveys.  For example, Pew found that half of whites think that blacks are treated less fairly than whites by police, a disturbingly high number; however, 84% of Blacks/African Americans think that they are treated unfairly by police. Similar gaps exist around fairness in the courts, applying for a loan, and in the workplace.

What is the origin of these differences? Evidence suggests that historical, legalized racial discrimination by government – including local governments -- has resulted in different life experiences.  For people not subject to discrimination, the issue is largely hidden, resulting in what is referred to as “white privilege” – a privilege conferred without request or effort. How do local government leaders understand and deal with these significantly different perceptions and different experiences among the residents of their communities?  

This workshop explores the history of racism in the U.S. and how it has been embedded in governmental institutions from slavery at the country’s founding to modern mass incarceration.  It will explore how consequences of institutional racism contribute to the disparate perceptions and experiences in today’s society.  It will also explore efforts by some cities to achieve “truth and reconciliation” and bridge the gaps in racial understanding and promote social equity. (Practice Groups: 3, 8, 9, 14)

Workshop: Design Thinking

How does design influence engagement, culture, and innovation? Design Thinking focuses on developing a deep understanding of the customer experience and of how customers interact with your service or product. Use Design Thinking principles to breathe life back into customer engagement. Learn how others have created innovative services using a Design Thinking process, and participate in a hands-on activity that demonstrates that process. (Practice groups: 6 - Strategic Leadership; and 9 - Community and Resident Service)

Workshop: Building Customer Service into Local Government

Practicing excellent customer service differs for a local government than it does a business.  A local government employee can’t write off a constituent’s property taxes for the quarter because the person was upset about the condition of city streets in the winter. And a constituent can’t easily take her business elsewhere if she’s unhappy with the decision of the local planning board to allow a new subdivision in the neighborhood. Still, local governments need to be concerned about providing excellent customer service as part of their overall citizen engagement strategy. Come learn about how local governments can create an excellent customer service experience for their constituents.  (Practice Groups: 4-Staff Effectiveness; 9 - Community and Resident Service; and 14 - Communication and Information Sharing)

Workshop: Moving Forward with Data

As a city or county manager, you’re up to your ears in data. But do you have any idea how to put that information to work for you? This workshop will address each of the Six E’s of Data-Driven Communities – Envision, Engage, Earmark, Educate, Enact, and Evaluate – as revealed through ten years of work with more than 300 communities. We’ll look at case studies for success and work through a group planning process with your own data to determine the best path forward. (Practice Groups: 6 - Strategic Leadership; and 7 - Strategic Planning)

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Related Resources

Research and Technical Assistance | Civic Engagement
ICMA University webinars| Community Building and Engagement 
ICMA Bookstore | Community Engagement
About ICMA's Practices for Effective Local Government Leadership