City of Ames Projects
Creation of the City Manager’s Advisory Board
Iowa State University in conjunction with the local chapter of the NAACP, led the development and creation of an advisory board to assist the Ames City Manager in working towards a city where all residents receive the type of exemplary service the city is known for based on customer satisfaction surveys. The impetus for the board was to be proactive in building relationships between underrepresented community stakeholders and city offices as opposed to being reactive to an incident or acrimony.
The City Manager’s Office in partnership with corporate, faith-based, school district, university, and philanthropic volunteers embarked upon an eight-month project of dialogues, workshops and seminars focused on multiple facets of city governance and administration resulting in the creation of the Ames Community Institute. The board continues to advise the City Manager on topics including the Ames Police Department “Stop Study” and the Ames Plan 2040.
Creation of the Ames Community Institute
The program brings together a cross-section of Ames residents to explore creating, managing, and optimizing diversity and inclusion within the City of Ames programs and services. Participants are selected based on recommendations from members of the City Manager’s Advisory Board. The purpose is to improve the living, learning, and work conditions of the community for both current and future residents.
Participants attended a month-long series of seminars on:
- City Government and Finance
- Parks and Recreation, Housing, and Public Works,
- Utilities and Transportation
- Police and Fire
Cohort one had 23 participants and took place over four consecutive weeks spanning October - November of 2018. Cohort two took place in October - November of 2019.
Creation of the Symposium on Building Inclusive Organizations
A fundamental part of a living experience within a community is the interaction between the consumer and both small and large business. The climate survey results underscored the need to work more deliberately with local business to stimulate the conversation about serving and supporting diverse consumers and potential workforce members. The Symposium on Building Inclusive Organizations is designed for leaders and influencers in Ames and Story County, particularly those who impact hiring and decision-making in the workplace and who impact organizational culture and environment.
Creation of the Inclusive Crosswalk in Downtown Ames
As a result of the collaboration between the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and City Council, an inclusive crosswalk was unveiled in downtown Ames. The crosswalks on Douglas Avenue feature a minority-inclusive pride rainbow. The crosswalk on Fifth Street to the east features gender non-binary pride colors, and the crosswalk on Fifth Street to the west features transgender pride colors. The new crosswalk was designed to be completed prior to the annual Pridefest event and the start of the schoolyear. It is a permanent symbol to communicate to everyone in the city of Ames that everyone is welcome here.
Creation of the Black Book Nook in Downtown Ames
A collaboration between the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Ames Public Library resulted in the creation of the Black Book Nook. This collection fosters education and community engagement with Black history, thought, literature, and culture.