MA Municipal DEI Coalition

Change Language:

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MA Municipal Diversity, Equity,
and Inclusion Coalition

The Massachusetts Municipal DEI Coalition is a group of professional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) practitioners employed by cities and towns. At bi-monthly meetings, group members share experiences, compare best practices, and support each other through common challenges. In addition to hosting these conversations, the group is writing a guide for fellow municipal DEI employees, identifying potential partnership opportunities, and advocating for resources and support at the state level.


MA Municipal DEI Coalition Guide Launch
Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022
The DEI Guide Launch introduced a new resource for municipal leaders. The DEI Guide promotes best practices in implementing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives and principles, and helps to foster a sustainable DEI movement in our towns and cities in the Commonwealth.

About the Plan

Since the summer of 2020, many municipal governments have created or strengthened diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts. After the murder of George Floyd, a period of social unrest caused organizations across numerous sectors—local government included—to examine how they could take a stand against racial injustice. Through this reflection, many municipalities realized they were not equipped to discuss issues of race in the workplace. This period of self-examination also caused many local governments to reckon with their own roles in constructing and maintaining oppressive and exclusive systems, and their responsibilities to correct injustice in the face of such histories. The result was a surge in job opportunities for DEI consultants, officers, specialists, coordinators, and other DEI professionals to help municipalities and other organizations incorporate DEI values into their practices, policies, and cultures. According to data from, job postings in DEI rose 56.3 percent between September 2019 and September 2020 (1).

For municipalities, the real work begins now. In this moment, when so many people understand the importance of DEI, we must push toward structural and sustainable change in our municipal governments. We must create spaces of belonging for those that have been left out of governmental policies and institutions, or actively and intentionally harmed by them. We must reimagine DEI as a core function of government, not an afterthought or the job of just one individual. We must come to think of DEI as everyone's responsibility. In service of these goals, we present this guide as a collection of lessons gathered by municipal DEI practitioners throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. We hope this document provides you with strategies, ideas, and tools that help you become more impactful in your DEI work, regardless of where you are working or what your title might be. 

What is DEI?

While Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, also known as DEI, are interconnected concepts, they are also distinct values that municipal leaders should actively seek to understand, define, and incorporate into their daily practice. An individual’s definition and understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion will reflect how that person approaches their role in the workplace and in the world. To that end, we recommend working as a community to establish shared language around what diversity, equity and inclusion mean in your local context. We have provided resources in this guide’s appendix that you can use to get started. Everyone plays a role in DEI. Each person’s role depends on their own perspectives and awareness, as well as the perspectives of those leading DEI efforts. At its best, DEI is a part of everything we do, every environment we create, every transaction and interaction that we have. It is a lens through which we see the world, make choices, and build relationships. DEI must be an integral part of how we do our day-to-day work.


Click the image above to view and download the DEI Guide

The MA Municipal DEI Coalition will continue to discuss these topics, share emerging practices, and provide mutual support. We are dedicated to supporting our peers in this work, wherever you are in your DEI journey.


For updates on this guide or to get in touch for other purposes,
please connect with us at
To get in touch with the Municipal DEI Coalition,
please email, Jillian Harvey,
MAPC Contacts: 

Najee Nunnally,
Sarai Zelada,