Our Story

Before the establishment of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office in the City of Springfield, there were internal efforts on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on a departmental level. Most departments had fostered awareness around inclusion in their activities. Nonetheless, The Murder of George Floyd impacted the entire U.S. and led to the need for awareness on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion centered conversations across the country. 

This catalyst event compelled Springfield, like many communities around the country, to advance its commitment by implementing positive and needed changes. City of Springfield leaders decided to reflect upon the dignity of all persons, the value of life and their responsibility as a local government. The Mayor and City Council believed that it is beneficial to all Springfieldians, including those who live here, those who visit, and those who do business here, to ensure an equitable environment that celebrates diversity and inclusion. 

Therefore, the Mayor’s Initiative on Equity and Equality within the City of Springfield sought to promote understanding and respect among all residents and provide the community recourse for discriminatory acts. The overall impact of these conversation resulted in the creation of an office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the City of Springfield. The office is a powerhouse for inclusivity by upholding the City's key Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion values of treating people with respect and dignity. 

The Mayor’s Initiative on Equity and Equality, which consisted of selected well known community leaders, who represented variety of backgrounds have developed the Guiding Principles to improve equitable access to opportunities in our community, recognizing the inherent dignity, value and worth of everyone. The Guiding Principles now serve as the template for the City’s effort towards Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

The five pillars of the Guiding Principles are as follows:

  • Pillar 1: Dialogue and Understanding
  • Pillar 2: Cultural Consciousness
  • Pillar 3: Advocacy & Partnerships
  • Pillar 4: Structural & Systemic Barriers
  • Pillar 5: Personal & Organizational Accountability