Belonging Council

Edgar Lopez outside of NIU's Altgeld Hall A team from NIU‘s Center for Governmental Studies has facilitated a series of formation discussions with a Steering Committee of community members in virtual workshop sessions. The aim of the group’s work is the formation of a Belonging Council within the City of DeKalb. CGS is using a multi-series approach to reach the ultimate goal of forming, operationalizing and framing the Belonging Council.

A total of five virtual evening leadership workshops, dialogue and strategic thinking and goal setting sessions were planned for this initiative. During the workshops, CGS staff has facilitated establishment of a Mission Statement, undertaken an Environmental Scanning Analysis, coordinated Strategic Goal Development and provided the framework for an initial Action Agenda. The workshop sessions have engaged multiple points of view across the community. Sessions have run about 2 ½ hours and include about 20 participants representing a variety of community organizations. 

To date, the Steering Committee has created a working draft of the Belonging Council’s mission statement, a list of guiding values, and undertook an analysis of the operating environment. The Steering Committee will work on the development of short-and long-term organizational and mission-driven goals along with an action plan in the remaining workshop sessions which are planned to be completed by March 31st. 

DeKalb Belonging Council Mission Statement

Co-create a community where everyone is valued, recognized, and empowered to grow.

Guiding Values 

Bridging, Acting,

Welcoming, Embracing,

Participation, Inclusion,

Listening, Learning,

Equity, Fairness,

Diversity, Unity,

Seen, Heard,

Healing, Belonging

As part of its service mission, Northern Illinois University’s Center for Governmental Studies (NIU-CGS) has teams dedicated to working with communities, governments, and organizations in the region to design and lead strategic dialogue and discussion between leaders, among leaders, with stakeholders, and public and private constituencies.