Welcome to the 2021 All-America City Awards Virtual Platform

Welcome to the 2021 All-America City Award Virtual Event!

A welcome greeting from our sponsor,

This year’s finalists are being recognized for “Building Equitable and Resilient Communities.”

2021 All-America City Award Finalists
in alphabetical order by city
Barberton, OH
Bellevue, WA
Carlisle, PA
Dallas, TX
El Paso, TX
Englewood, CO
Evanston, IL
Fitzgerald, GA
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Fort Wayne, IN
Kansas City, MO
Livermore, CA
Miami Lakes, FL
Miramar, FL
Morrisville, NC
Richmond, VA
Southfield, MI
Spokane, WA
Sumter, SC
Wheat Ridge, CO

These finalists will be presenting their work to a jury of nationally recognized civic leaders. View the complete presentation schedule in the program or navigate to the ‘agenda’ tab of the event platform.  

About the Event

This year’s virtual event will include community presentations, participant roundtables, inspiring speakers, interactive booths and entertaining talent showcases from across the country. Navigate along the event platform menu to access offerings or download the event program.

All workshops and roundtables will take place over zoom, with specific access instructions found in the agenda. You can watch the keynotes speeches and finalist presentations on the Main Stage or on Facebook. Email aac@ncl.org if you experience any difficulties joining a session.

Keynote Speakers

  • Dr. Gail C. Christopher
    Executive Director, National Collaborative for Health Equity

    Dr. Gail Christopher is an award winning social change agent with expertise in the social determinants of health and well-being and in related public policies. She is known for her pioneering work to infuse holistic health and diversity concepts into public sector programs and policy discourse. Dr. Christopher recently retired from her role as Senior Advisor and Vice President at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), where she was the driving force behind the America Healing initiative and the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation effort. Dr. Christopher also served as Kellogg’s Vice President for Program Strategy and worked on place-based programming in New Orleans and New Mexico. Dr. Gail Christopher also became the Executive Director of the National Collaborative for Health Equity in November 2019.

  • Mayor Lori Lightfoot
    Chicago Illinois

    Since assuming office following her historic election, Mayor Lightfoot has undertaken an ambitious agenda of expanding opportunity and inclusive economic growth across Chicago’s neighborhoods and communities, with early accomplishments including landmark ethics and good governance reforms, worker protection legislation, and closing a record $838 million budget gap, as well as key investments in education, public safety and financial stability. Mayor Lightfoot also placed Chicago on the path to a $15 minimum wage by 2021.

  • Erika Poethig
    Special Assistant to the President for Housing and Urban Policy

    Before joining the Biden-Harris Administration, Erika Poethig was Chief Innovation Officer and Vice President for the Research to Action Lab at the Urban Institute, a social and economic policy research organization founded by President Lyndon Baines Johnson.  In the Obama-Biden Administration, she held several positions including Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and was a leading architect of the White House Council for Strong Cities, Strong Communities. Poethig led housing policy portfolios at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and at the City of Chicago’s Department of Housing.  Poethig graduated from The College of Wooster and the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.

2021 Award

Building Equitable and Resilient Communities 

The 2021 All-America City Awards will recognize communities that have worked to improve equity and resilience. Equity is the fabric that allows communities to achieve broad-based economic prosperity and other goals. Resilience enables communities to face challenging times by not only preserving what makes their community great but adapting and growing stronger. Inclusive civic engagement is a key ingredient in communities that have these two qualities. 

The need for equity and resilience has become more obvious in 2020, as communities have dealt with a global pandemic and racial bias incidents in law enforcement. Those communities with more equity and resilience have been more successful in combatting the pandemic and making the needed changes to improve the racial equity of law enforcement and other city services. 

All-America City applicants for 2021 will be asked to discuss the strength of their civic capital—the formal and informal relationships, networks and capacities they use to make decisions and solve problems—and to provide examples of community-driven projects that have adapted and transformed the community to be more equitable and resilient. Projects adhering to this year’s theme include (but are not limited to) those that: 

  • promote racial healing and equity
  • expand the role of residents in disaster preparedness and recovery
  • enhance equity in the community’s COVID-19 response
  • reform law enforcement to improve racial equity
  • engage the community in work to prevent climate change
  • create more civic capacity through leadership or communication programs
  • promote community dialogue through civility
  • improve mental health and trauma systems
  • further educational equity
  • create affordable and safe housing
  • reduce poverty
  • increase job readiness and employment
  • reform criminal justice systems
View All

Thanks to our 2021 AAC Sponsors