International organization names Flossmoor recipient of diversity award

  National Honor Society members Mia Martin 
  and Zi'Onay Walker make rags during the 2018
  MLK Day of Service. The annual project was one 
  factor in Flossmoor's recognition for diversity 
  and inclusion. 
  (Chronicle file photos)
 
The Village of Flossmoor's commitment to diversity and inclusion has been recognized on an international level.
 
Flossmoor is receiving the 2018 Community Diversity and Inclusion Program Excellence Award from the International City and County Managers Association (ICMA). 
 
This year’s award is being given to just three municipalities out of the organization’s 11,000 worldwide members. The award is part of the ICMA’s annual Local Government Excellence awards.

Flossmoor announced the award in a Sept. 4 press release.
 
Applications for the ICMA awards opened in January and Flossmoor submitted its entry in March. It is the first time ICMA has presented an award for inclusion and diversity.
 
Flossmoor, working on both its strategic plan and rebranding last year, identified inclusion as a priority and diversity as a strength, Village Manager Bridget Wachtel said. During those projects, it became apparent that efforts by the Community Relations Commission, village staff and community “were really diverse and inclusive, especially for a community our size,” she said.

Among the efforts highlighted in Flossmoor’s award application were the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, Black History Month, Green Commission educational activities, new resident mixer, Lighthouse Pride Party and a number of other community-driven activities and events. 
 
“We are realizing that it is not common for communities our size to tackle such large societal issues and we are really proud of our efforts,” Wachtel said. “Our village board knows that in order to stay a vibrant community, we need to stretch ourselves and tackle an issue like inclusion. We decided to apply for the award because we wanted to let the world know that you can do some amazing things with just a little effort and have a direct impact on the community.
 
“Winning the award is a great way for us to acknowledge to our residents that their activities and efforts have a direct impact on what makes Flossmoor special and at the same time, spread the word about Flossmoor to people and communities outside our region.”
 
Flossmoor Mayor Paul Braun said "the award will most certainly serve as a powerful reminder that Flossmoor is indeed a special place to live.”

“This formal recognition is evidence that Flossmoor is one of a few communities that has made being inclusive a priority and put programs in place to make it a reality,” Braun said.
 
A village representative will accept the award during a Sept. 26  at the ICMA annual convention in Baltimore.
 
Flossmoor recently partnered with local production company Spin Artist to create a publicity video highlighting the municipality’s ongoing work to build a community of equality and inclusion.
 
Following the award reception, this video will be used as marketing material for the village.
 
More information is available at the village website, www.flossmoor.org.
 
ICMA, the world’s leading association of professional city and county managers, advances professional local government management worldwide through leadership, management, innovation and ethics. ICMA is second only to the federal government in the collection, analysis and dissemination of data focused on issues related to local government management.
 

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