The League of California Cities has awarded the City of Lakewood with its “Helen Putnam Award for Excellence” for Lakewood’s community-wide race, equity, diversity and inclusion plan.
Following the murder of George Floyd in 2020, the City of Lakewood initiated a Community Dialogue designed to listen to residents and create or enhance efforts that “build on all the good in Lakewood and make the community the safest, most welcoming place it can be, for everyone.”
Hundreds of residents took part in discussions and recommendations, resulting in a council-approved Action Plan in early 2021 that called for:
- A multicultural food and music festival, called the Lakewood Fest-Of-All. Over 10,000 people attended the first Fest-Of-All in 2021, and the second annual event is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 8 outside Lakewood Center.
- Increased opportunities to meet with Sheriff’s Department personnel, such as Coffee with a Deputy (happening again on Oct. 5), Ice Cream with a Deputy, and National Night Out.
- Ongoing opportunities for residents to meet and discuss race, equity, diversity and inclusion (REDI) issues with fellow residents and city leaders. The next gathering of the REDI Roundtable is Oct. 20.
- Recognition of commemorative calendar days and months that celebrate the many people and cultures who call Lakewood home.
Lakewood is considered one of California’s most broadly diversifying communities, with a population of people from all over the nation and world that closely mirrors the diversity of Los Angeles County as a whole.