We are proud to announce that “You, Me, We = Oakley!” (YMWO) has been honored by
the International City Management Association (ICMA) as the recipient of the
“Community Diversity & Inclusion Program Excellence Award” for outstanding local government programs.
The award recognizes communities for building or celebrating diversity and inclusiveness. Oakley was one of just three recipients nationwide, winning in the category of cities with populations from 10,000 to 50,000.
YMWO is a grant‐funded program that aims to create opportunities for Oakley’s diverse residents to come together and better understand one another, appreciate each other’s stories and recognize their common desire to build a stronger, safer and more vibrant community.
There are seven outcomes that YMWO works to accomplish, which can be summarized by increased civic involvement across all demographics and strengthened relationships.
The program began in 2011, with unanimous support of partners including the City of Oakley, the local school districts, church congregations, and community‐based organizations. YMWO has received over $600,000 in private grants.
Recent activities made possible through YMWO include: quarterly citizenship drives, the Heart of Oakley Festival’s cultural and entertainment subcomponents, dinning dialogues, citizens’ leadership academy, translation of City forms/policies, informational workshops such as “Becoming American” or “Dia de los Muertos,” implicit bias training and related follow‐up trainings that equip City Staff to offer impartial services to all residents.
The ICMA award acknowledges the work done by the many volunteers and community leaders to ensure that every policy, program, law, and event adhere to some basic welcoming principles including treating all residents with dignity and respect and embracing the diversity that makes for a unified and participatory community.
“We are honored to have received this ICMA Award and could not have done it without our dedicated volunteers,” said Gabriela Banos‐alvan, YMWO Program Coordinator. “It’s so gratifying to have Oakley recognized on a national level.”
Would you like to help contribute to the effort of making Oakley and even more cohesive and accepting community? Please go to YouMeWeOakley.org and take the pledge to observe the ten welcoming principles such as treating others the way you would like to be treated, striving to understand cultures other than your own, and challenging stereotypes that divide.