May 25, 2021
DuPage County and the College of DuPage have been recognized with an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.
NACo recognized DuPage County’s “Collaborative Conversation on Race, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion,” in the Arts, Culture, and Historic Preservation category. DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin and representatives from College of DuPage developed the series following racial protests last summer. Together they sought a productive, meaningful way to involve local officials, students, and residents in a community conversation dealing with the difficult topics of equity, inclusion, discrimination, race, and social justice. The resulting initiative was designed to help both internal and external audiences reflect, share, and act, with stories meant to educate from a personal perspective. Video projects, blog posts, interviews and panel discussions explored the past and present and sought concrete ways DuPage residents could unite against racism.
“During a difficult year, our partnership with the College of DuPage, creating a community conversation about racial equity, diversity and inclusion, has been a remarkable effort to break down walls and promote understanding. I’m pleased that our efforts have been recognized nationally. The most important outcome of this yearlong initiative is the meaningful dialogue that we started, and will continue, as we work to strengthen the connections we’ve built.”
“The College of DuPage partnership with DuPage County has stimulated many important conversations. As the largest community college in Illinois, I am proud of the equity work that our institution and the county have accomplished together,” said Dr. Brian Caputo, College of DuPage President.
NACo President Gary Moore said, “Over the past year, county officials and frontline employees have demonstrated bold, inspirational leadership. This year’s Achievement Award winning programs illustrate the innovative ways counties build healthy, safe and vibrant communities across America.”
Nationally, awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice and public safety, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more.
Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Awards program is designed to recognize county government innovations. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received.