Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The City of Naperville is intentional about diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in Naperville and recognizes that diversity of all backgrounds of people in our community and organization makes the City stronger. Advancing equity and inclusion is not a project, but a constant process of improvement and Naperville is committed to the following initiatives to increase the City’s emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion in the organization and the community.

Community

With the goal of advancing equity and inclusion across the community, the City is joining our community partners who are actively working in this space to partner with, learn from and leverage the work of these organizations and the community at large to broaden the collective community impact. 

Workforce

City employees work in accordance with the City’s established four “core values”, People, Respect, Trust and Pride. These values are the foundation of an environment where employees feel they belong and that they are respected and valued no matter their age, gender, ethnicity, race, sexual preference, religion, disability, income or background. 

Human Rights Commission

On July 21, 2020, the City Council approved the establishment of a Human Rights and Fair Housing Commission (HRFHC) through renaming and expansion of the Housing Advisory Commission. Human rights issues encompass securing for all individuals within the City of Naperville the freedom from unlawful discrimination against any individual because of his or her protected class including race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, marital status, order of protection status, disability, military status, sexual orientation, pregnancy, unfavorable discharge from military service, or income.

The HRFHC will serve an advisory role to the City on fair and affordable housing and human rights issues., Provide community outreach and engagement on fair and affordable housing and human rights, and adjudicate formal unlawful discrimination complaints for public accommodation and housing. Learn more about the HRFHC.

Definitions

Diversity: Respecting the value in difference (traits and characteristics that make people unique) while appreciating many perspectives offer greater opportunities for success.

Equity: Access to opportunity and resources with a clear understanding of the current equity gap and the negative impact on not only the most vulnerable populations, but also all persons.

Inclusion: Creating an (authentic and transparent) environment wherein people feel/are valued and welcomed. 

Belonging: “The feeling of security and support when there is a sense of acceptance, inclusion, and identity for a member of a certain group. It is when an individual can bring their authentic self to work. (Cornell University)      

Timeline

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February 5, 2019: City councilmembers and citizens discuss discrimination in Naperville during Public Forum at the City Council meeting.

November 5, 2019: A request is made to update the City's Mission Statement.

December 17, 2019: The City Council approves a revision to the City's Mission Statement:

"To provide services that ensure a high quality of life, sound fiscal management, and a dynamic business environment, while creating an inclusive community that values diversity." Watch the video

May 19, 2020: The City Council adopts a resolution celebrating the diversity of the community and denouncing all acts of racism, intolerance and unlawful discrimination.

At that same meeting, the City Council approves recommendations to increase the City’s emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion in the organization, community and the establishment of a Human Rights Commission. Learn more about the commission.

September 1, 2020: The City Council approves the hiring of a Diversity and Inclusion Manager position. View the agenda item and position description.

December 15, 2020: The city adopts Title 12 of the Code of Ordinances prohibiting unlawful discrimination in human rights and fair housing in the city of Naperville. View the ordinance (link)

February 9, 2021: The inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager starts work with the Naperville, and hires its first Diversity and Inclusion Manager, Dr. Geneace Williams. Learn more about Dr. Williams.

February 10, 2021: Meetings with leaders across all departments begin to better understand the Naperville’s internal landscape.

March 2, 2021: Listening sessions with residents and key Naperville organizations begin to take place to gather perspectives. Goals include how to include youth in future discussions and initiatives.

August 2, 2021: Youth component begins to take shape.

I Belong. You Belong. We ALL Belong.