APWA Chapter Diversity “Tool Box”
The American Public Works Association recognizes, appreciates and fosters the synergy which is created when the work environment values the differences in individuals and practices inclusiveness and open communication.
Appointed by the APWA president and comprised of members of the association, the Diversity Committee advances diversity issues throughout the association, placing value on all individuals and the different perspectives of those individuals; and promoting the process for all to feel included as part of the whole. Diversity includes race, gender, creed, age, life-style, national origin, disability, personality, educational background, and income level.

This Diversity Toolbox will help you support diversity programs at the chapter level. Please review the following information for ideas on how to expand or begin to support diversity within your chapter.
Diversity Resource Guides:
Why Diversity is Important
Global Understanding
U.S. Understanding
Diversity of APWA Members
Intra-Cultural Communications & Editquette
New Member Welcome/Orientation
Chapter Program Ideas
Multi/Cross-Generational Statistics and Information
Volunteer Motivations by Generation
Religious or Cultural Days
Accomodating Different Religions Beliefs & Affiliation
Gender Gap in Engineering/Public Work
Wage Gap by Gender and Race
Differences in Gender Communication
Recognizing the "ABILITY" in Disabilities
Obesity Discrimination
Chapter Newsletter Diversity Quotes
Basic Core Competencies for Public Works Directors
APWA Standards of Professional Conduct
Poems & Stories

Other Guides:

Progressive Women in Public Works


 Inclusion Training

Bridging the Generations

Reporter Articles
Get started now!   Here are some ways that you can start your chapter's Diversity Program:
  1. Reprint articles in chapter newsletters (Northern California Chapter includes excerpts from APWA Chapter Diversity Resource Guide II, 2003 in their chapter newsletter (PDF))
  2. Ask a chapter member to write an article for your chapter newsletter.  Here is an example from the Hawaii Chapter: (PDF).  Other topics that could be explored are:
    • Reflections on a retiring Baby Boomer
    • Advice from a member who is retiring to a young professional coming up in the profession
    • Ask young professionals to interview members who are retiring on the changes they have seen in the workplace over their career and have the young professionals provide their own perspective of changes they anticipate over their career span
  3. Establish and implement tips for welcoming new members
    • Tips on how to welcome new members and get them involved from Diversity Resource Guide, Volume I PDF  (additional tips can be found in the Member Retention Toolkit)
    • Tips on engaging women members at the chapter level from the Diversity Resource Guide, Volume II PDF
  4. Welcome new members at chapter meetings through a Welcoming Committee or a First Timer’s Meeting.
  5. Put a link from this Diversity Toolbox on your chapter website
  6. Use “inclusiveness quotes” as filler in your chapter newsletters
  7. Utilize retired members through mentoring of younger members. Keep retired members involved in committee work and ask them to promote APWA membership to local agencies in your area
  8. Include a speaker/topic about diversity at your next chapter conference
  9. Establish a Diversity Chapter Award(s)
  10. Establish a Chapter Diversity Committee

Diversity issues vary among all chapters, but some exist everywhere. Diversity should be discussed, not ignored, if we hope to create a more inclusive and accepting workplace.
Please share your diversity practices and successes with the APWA Diversity Committee so others may learn from your experience. The APWA Diversity Committee staff liaison is Christy Levine (clevine@apwa.net or (800) 848-2792, ext. 6704).