Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Building Unity and Creating Opportunities
Established in 2020, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a community-facing initiative that ensures diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are considered when Chesterfield provides services, resources and programs.
Chesterfield County has always been a leader in setting DEI initiatives for its workforce. In 1988, the Diversity Advisory Committee, recently renamed the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council (DEIC), was established to ensure the county workforce was reflective on the community we serve and employees provided services in a culturally sensitive manner.
As with any successful diversity journey, Chesterfield must continue to evolve to meet the needs of a growing community and workforce. As such, the county’s DEI work continues with the creation of the DEI strategic plan, which establishes a road map for county employees working in partnership with the community to identify and recognize diversity needs. In addition, as one of the County Administrator’s top priorities, we will draw upon experiences, strengths and opportunities so that the county may continue to educate, advocate and celebrate a diverse and engaged multi-cultural community.
As mentioned in the Diversity Plan (PDF), a guiding principle of the county states that “county employees and citizens are shareholders in our progress and serve as trustees for those values held dear: fairness, integrity, diversity and harmony, lifelong learning, appreciation of history and culture, and steadfastness in long range commitments.” As a result of a better understanding and a greater appreciation of others, our employees will have a greater capacity to work together for our common goal of providing quality service to our customers.
DEI Strategic Plan
As a community, Chesterfield County people are stronger together. We are stronger because we celebrate our differences and focus on our commonalities. We are stronger because of the unique experiences we each bring to our community. We are stronger because we provide a place where people can feel like they belong. Our intention as a county is to foster and maintain a sense of inclusion, for all to live, learn, work and play.
The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategic plan has been created to intentionally guide a community engagement initiative and will include a review and reassessment in three years.
To foster a more inclusive community, the following strategic goals have been identified:
- Increase community engagement
- Serve people in a culturally competent manner
- Promote diversity, equity and inclusion success
DEI Office Vision
Our vision is to have an inclusive and resilient community that connects, engages and inspires all people.
DEI Office Mission
Chesterfield County’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives foster a sense of inclusion, respect and support by building relationships and partnerships with everyone. This work is facilitated by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Goal 1: Increase Community Engagement
Engage with the community to assist people in feeling connected, valued and heard.
Attend and encourage cultural programs and gatherings that provide opportunities for learning and feedback within the community.
- Encourage and support culturally creative programming.
- Invite county executive level and senior management representation to engage in community events/programs. (i.e., Asian American Celebration, Juneteenth Celebration, etc.)
- Track county’s engagement activities and results.
Create ways for the county to listen to, engage with and learn from various community groups.
- Identify and connect with the various community groups.
- Coordinate programming and engagement segments with county departments.
- Build on current opportunities to learn from community (i.e., Town Halls, academies)
Coordinate and promote events that celebrate and support diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Identify existing events and gaps.
- Create an internal team to coordinate, partner and support opportunities for countywide cultural programming (i.e., Heritage Celebration Months Team).
- Enhance communication/marketing opportunities of countywide programs partnering with Constituent and Media Services (CMS).
Goal 2: Serve People in a Culturally Competent Manner
Provide county services in a culturally sensitive and respectful manner.
Develop a comprehensive diversity learning structure to enhance the cultural competency of county employees.
- Partner with Diversity, Equity Inclusion Council (DEIC); Human Resource (HR); and Learning Performance Center (LPC) on employee training opportunities (i.e., 2023 Diversity Online Training).
- Increase and expand diversity training, as appropriate, for customer facing positions.
- Be intentional about diverse workforce collaborations and engagement.
Goal 3: Promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Success
Promoting successful areas operating at peak diversity, equity and inclusion performance.
Foster and encourage community participation in the governance process.
- Increase community engagement with local non-profit, faith-based and civic organizations.
- Build trust and provide an opportunity for open communication (i.e., Police dept - volunteers to provide input on applicant hiring process).
- Enhance educational opportunities for civic engagement and local government operations.
- Review procedures to ensure consistency and inclusivity in county services.
Review the appointment and hiring processes of boards, commissions and the workforce to enhance representation of the county’s demographics.
- Continue to review current composition of boards, commissions and workforce and identify gaps and recruit qualified community representatives (i.e., coordinate with departments).
- Routinely share with county leadership, local non-profit and civic organizations on recruitment efforts.
Encourage an inclusive culture and cohesiveness.
- Continue to support and encourage a welcoming and respectful environment (i.e., departmental diversity teams and contacts, etc.)
- Expand diversity, equity and inclusion communication and engagement footprint in all parts of the county.
- Maintain, nurture and create new community partnerships.
Key Terms and Definitions
The ability to understand, accept and interact with individuals of different backgrounds and cultures.
The personal characteristics that make us valuable and unique. Differences among people with respect to age, class, ethnicity, gender, health, physical and mental ability, race, sexual orientation, religion, physical size, education, job level, job and function, personality traits, and other human differences.
Providing resources and opportunities that meet individuals’ needs in order to achieve equitable outcomes. Having access and opportunities that suit individual needs. Differs from equality, which simply ensures that everyone has the same opportunities, without considering disparities that may impact how people can access those opportunities.
A sense that we are welcomed, respected, valued and involved. Everyone is included, visible, heard and considered.