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Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Mission and history

Read about the mission and history of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).

DEI mission statement  

The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is dedicated to building a more equitable city, where determinants of success are not defined by race, ethnicity, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, income, or neighborhood. When diversity, equity, and inclusion are woven into the framework of government systems and operations, it ensures that both services provided and dollars expended are a strong model of fairness among the diverse groups that make up the neighborhoods of Philadelphia. As local government and community members work in partnership, institutional and structural barriers can be dismantled as we strive to create an equitable Philadelphia, together, where everyone thrives.

Racial equity mission statement

The City of Philadelphia acknowledges the role of government in creating and maintaining the conditions that cause racial inequity. We understand that change must begin with local government and we are accountable to all Philadelphians for implementing lasting change that makes a difference in individuals’ lives.

We are committed to achieving this change with the participation and input of the community. We understand that achieving this change means looking inward, at transforming our own policies and culture, as well as reaching outward, to engage with and serve those who have too often been left behind.

History of DEI

January 2016

  • Mayor James F. Kenney issues Executive Order No. 1-16, which creates Philadelphia’s first Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer (CDIO) position. The CDIO provides direction, guidance, advice, and support to the mayor, as well as City departments, agencies, authorities, boards, and commissions, on improving and strengthening diversity and inclusion throughout City government, including in the provision of services and the conduct of City business.
  • Pursuant to Executive Order No. 1-16 and No. 1-21, the City’s Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer provides policy and strategic direction to the City’s Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO). Executive Order No. 1-21 sets forth the City’s Antidiscrimination Policy Relating to the Participation of Minority, Woman and Disabled Owned Businesses.

January 2020

  • Mayor Kenney issues Executive Order No. 1-20, which expands the administration’s focus on equity.
  • Executive Order No. 1-20 includes five key areas:
    1. Renaming the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to include “Equity”
    2. Establishing formal oversight of the Office of LGBT Affairs and Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities
    3. Launching a City-wide Employment Diversity and Inclusion Strategy
    4. Introducing the City-wide Racial Equity Strategy
    5. Mandating diversity, equity, and inclusion training