Downtowns & Place Management Districts

Downtown Long Beach Alliance

Long Beach, CA

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Access Framework

Project Details

We guided the Downtown Long Beach Alliance through a process of augmenting its existing strategic plan with diversity, equity, inclusion, and access (DEIA) planning, focusing on organizational governance and internally focused policy changes. This was one of the first deliberate DEIA processes for a downtown organization in the country.

We began the project with local context research, followed by a combination of outreach, engagement, and power analysis. We focused on building trust and meaningful allyship with culturally diverse community partners.

This work involved mixed participation of staff, board, and community stakeholders. The process offered both practical recommendations for the Alliance and strengthened the organization's profile with the community.

Our engagement included the following:

  • A three-part training series grounding shared purpose and language, with a focus on the history of race in the place management industry and locally.
  • The formation of a diverse Steering Committee to draft the  Framework, better aligning Board representation with the Downtown Long Beach community.
  • The coordination of a district tour visiting special places that embody Downtowns’ rich culture and present challenges.  
  • A Baseline Organizational Equity Assessment, DEIA Assessment, and Community & Place Assessment
  • Creation of a Race and social Equity Framework Work Plan for 2022-2024, including focus areas, guiding principles, actions, and accountability measures.

Since the launch of the organization’s DEIA plan, the organization has served to build a stronger community profile, has centered accountability for implementation with its CEO, Board Chair, and Governance Chair, and is tackling structural limitations on strategies to diversify its board.

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