Equity and Engagement Department
Role of the Equity and Engagement Department
The Equity and Engagement Department serves as a critical link between the City and our community. The Equity and Engagement Department works to ensure everyone who lives, works, or plays in Champaign is treated in a fair, equal, and inclusive manner, as demonstrated in the City’s mission and values and the City Council’s goal to promote quality of life for all citizens. The City is committed to meeting this objective through ongoing public education and enforcement of the City’s Human Rights Ordinance and Equal Opportunity in Purchasing Ordinance.
The Equity and Engagement Department works to help those who feel they have been discriminated against by investigating complaints and working with both parties to resolve issues. The Equity and Engagement Department is assisted in this role by the City’s Human Relations Commission.
The Human Relations Commission has a Citizen Review Subcommittee to review the investigations completed by the police into citizen complaints and provide findings and recommendations to the Chief of Police.
Champaign Community Coalition
The Equity and Engagement Department also manages and coordinates the work of the Champaign Community Coalition. The Coalition’s mission is to identify and assist with critical community issues that impact the lives of area youth and their families. The Coalition is a system of care network that includes: local government, law enforcement, juvenile justice, behavioral health, education, child welfare, and community based service providers.
Support for LGBTQ Rights
The City of Champaign supports the rights of our LGBTQ community and has appointed a LGBTQ Liaison to provide an informed voice to the City Manager on LGBTQ issues in the Champaign community. The LGBTQ Liaison also works with the City’s Equity and Engagement Department to develop community and employee events, along with participating in community-wide events like the Champaign-Urbana Pride Fest and Parade. The LGBTQ Liaison also works collaboratively with the City’s Human Relations Commission and other City staff to promote equity and human rights for the LGBTQ community.
Kris Koester, LGBTQ Liaison / Administrative Services Manager
City of Champaign – Public Works Department
Champaign Recognized for Inclusive LGBTQ+ Policies and Services
In 2021, the City of Champaign was again recognized by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for the City’s inclusive LGBTQ+ laws, policies, and services. The Foundation ranked Champaign as the 2nd highest rated city in the State of Illinois in its 10th Annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI). The MEI is updated annually and used to measure how inclusive municipal policies, laws, and services are for the LGBTQ+ community. The MEI rates cities on non-discrimination laws, the municipality as an employer, municipal services, law enforcement, and leadership on LGBTQ+ equality. Learn more about the Municipal Equality Index at hrc.org/mei.