Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Office

The City of Topeka’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Office was established and opened its doors in January 2023. The DEI Office is responsible for the development, implementation, and incorporation of proactive diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies throughout all aspects of the City.

The DEI Office is committed to achieving equal treatment, diversity and inclusion of the individuals it employs. The office is committed to ensuring we do not discriminate against anyone based on their age, color, disability, familial status, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other factor protected by law (“protected class”). This applies to all personnel actions and procedures including compensation and other benefits, as well as when recruiting, hiring, training, transferring, and promoting employees.

Equity: Provide fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all. Understanding that not everyone starts from the same place, we must acknowledge, identify, and eliminate barriers to foster civic participation, belonging and promote just outcomes. Equity is outlined in the Strategic Plan as one of the city’s core principals.

The distinction between Equity and Equality is a vital piece in the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Office’s role in understanding, addressing, and dismantling inequities faced by marginalized communities, lower-income neighborhoods, and hiring processes.
  • Develop a vision consistent with our purpose to power an inclusive future for all, and executing that vision.
  • Establish data-driven performance indicators and progress benchmarks to ensure accountability towards equitable delivery of city programs and services.
  • Forge strategic alliances within the organization and in the community to further established diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
  • Hiring - Intensify efforts to recruit applicants within a protected class for every level of responsibility
  • Training - Develop training programs for qualifying persons within a protected class for beginning level positions and for advancement
  • Operations - Develop procedures for monitoring the application flow, hiring process and disposition of persons within a protected class


Developing a language access plan will define the resources the City will use to effectively communicate with our diverse community of individuals, including those residents who are not fluent in English, are hard of hearing or visually impaired, or have other comprehension issues. The language access plan will help the City provide a wide range of individuals with meaningful access to City services while also complying with Title VI. This will be a collaboration with the City’s Communications Department.
The Internal Diversity Equity and Inclusion Assessment aims to collect and understand data relating to the knowledge and levels of equity with all City staff. The goal in conducting the assessment is to help the DEI office and the City create a strategic plan on how to move forward with long term success in the work of DEI with consideration of the limitations of staff’s knowledge around the issues.
This plan would highlight the City’s efforts and plan to address disparities and create equity by creating an inclusive culture that is collaborative and respectful. In addition, it will be used as a comprehensive tool to help the City of Topeka understand and measure progress toward equity across the various communities it serves.