Diversity & Inclusion


We promote Community, Workforce, and Supplier Diversity for our employees and residents. We make sure the City complies with civil rights laws.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on race, color or national origin, in any program, service or activity that receives federal funds.

New Human Rights Ordinance

On August 27, 2019, the City Commission approved the revised Human Rights Ordinance.  The Human Rights Ordinance was originally brought forward by the City’s Community Relations Commission in early April 2019. Over the past four months, City staff made changes to address City Commission feedback and community comments made at the public hearing in late April. This Ordinance will go into effect on December 1, 2019. The final ordinance can be found here.

Download Ordinance(PDF, 119KB)

We administer and track community diversity efforts. This includes monitoring the Americans with Disabilities Act. We provide leadership on hate crime initiatives in Grand Rapids. Our office reviews and analyzes the diversity efforts of financial institutions engaged with our Investment Policy (400-01).

American with Disabilities Act (ADA)

File a Complaint in English

Hate Crime Initiatives

We work at the state and local level to respond to hate crime incidents that occur within our community. Our efforts include developing a membership list, hosting committee meetings, and collecting data that we share with governmental agencies.

We work with the West Michigan Alliance Against hate Crimes (MIAAHC). MIAAHC works to address hate crimes on the state and local level. Learn more about MIAAHC here.

Investment Policy

Our Investment Policy evaluates investment options and awards bonus basis points to financial institutions. Bonus points are awarded based upon their Community Reinvestment Act rating, local workforce employment, equitable lending practices and other innovative programs.

City Commission Policy 400-01 includes:

  • Investing to Encourage Community Lending
  • Banking and Employment Practices

Financial institutions under Section 3 of City Commission Policy may be eligible to get bonus basis points. Learn more about how bonus basis points are awarded in our Investment Program and Policy.

Supplier Diversity strives for the inclusion of all types of businesses in City contracts. We administer the award-winning Equal Business Opportunity (EBO) Programs:

  • Goods and services
  • Professional services
  • Construction
  • Certification of Micro-Local Business Enterprises (Micro-LBEs)

Doing Business with the City

Want to do business with us? We're excited to partner! Your first step is to register as a vendor online. Complete the vendor registration process here

Planning a construction project? Make sure to pre-qualify with the Engineering Department here.

Apply for Bid Discounts

We reward businesses for engaging in activities that complement the City's Sustainability Plan. Discounts are also awarded to businesses that employ GR residents, participate in community partnerships, promote a clean environment, and more. Micro-Local Business Enterprises are eligible for discounts as well.


Goods and Services

Doing Business in the City - Economic Development

For more details about doing business in the city, visit the Economic Development Department's page.


Certified Micro-Local Business Enterprises (Micro-LBEs) are eligible to participate in the bid discount program.  Micro-Local Business Enterprises (Micro-LBEs), Veteran Owned Small Businesses (VOSBs), Qualified as Certified Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs), and Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) will be listed in the Directory of Business Enterprises.

Apply in English

Micro-LBE Directory

This guide serves as roadmap to assist City Staff and Residents with spending our dollars Local. Offering companies ranging from food to media vendors and beyond, with the goal of keeping more dollars in our local ecosystem. If you have any vendor recommendations that you wish to have added to the list, please contact us at 616-456-3027 or by email at inclusion@grcity.us.

Neighborhood Business Guide

Our workforce diversity program administers and tracks workforce diversity efforts. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Increasing and celebrating our workforce diversity
  • Internal employee training on diversity and equal opportunity
  • Investigation on internal issues of discrimination and harassment

City of Grand Rapids Workforce Diversity Efforts and Activities

We are committed to providing employees with a working environment that celebrates diversity. A diverse workforce allows us to better serve our community. We provide technical help to employees about a variety of employment related issues. Some issues are listed below:

  • Americans with Disability Act (ADA) reasonable accommodations
  • Employment opportunities
  • Recruiting
  • Interviewing

We provide an annual comprehensive analysis of the employment activities. Our annual Workforce Diversity report identifies opportunities to recognize diversity achievements and analyzes our hiring, promotion and turnover activity. This report provides recommendations for improvement to the administration of the City.

Racial Equity

We believe and rely on racial equity values to eliminate structural racism. Eliminating structural racism will ensure equitable opportunities and outcomes in our community. Our values are committed to promoting a equitable future for Grand Rapids.

The Draft of Grand Rapids Racial Equity Plan outlines activities that include specific work plans for 6 focus areas.

REH Draft Action Plan(PDF, 859KB)

We track Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) workforce information. Are you an EEO employer and want to submit your workforce numbers?

Submit Your Information

We're working on transforming our programs. We've reviewed and re-tooled the following City Commission Policies

Contract Compliance Administrative Guidelines

Our Equal Business Opportunity (EBO) programs provide bid discount opportunities for vendors and contractors. Here are a few examples of our bid discounts:

  • Resident status
  • Disability status and veteran status
  • The Investment Policy provides Bonus Basis Points for financial institutions wishing to be depositors of City funds
  • Tax Abatement Policies provide tax incentives for investment(s) within the City

The Contract Compliance Program has been re-tooled to provide data and information for all our programs. This provides the City Commission the opportunity to evaluate “who” the City does business with and how City spending directly affects the citizens of Grand Rapids. We've added provisions to allow fees to cover administrative costs. The maximum amount is $100/year per contractor with contracts or payments over $10,000. 

These revisions have been shared with the Monday Group. We've revised the Contract Compliance Program to require firms doing business with the City to:

  • Sign a Covenant of Non-Discrimination
  • Provide workforce data including employment of:

City residents
Residents of the General Target Area (GTA)
Veterans and individuals with disabilities
Females and minorities

  • Provide triennial updates of workforce data
  • Provide a data source for the EBO bid discount programs, the Investment Policy Bonus Basis points program and the Tax Abatement policies hiring and tracking programs

Our relations with the community are crucial to our work. Check out what our Community Relations Commission does.

Community Relations Commission