Fort Wayne was one of 10 cities across the country to be named an All-America City.
The city went into the virtual ceremony Wednesday as one of 20 finalist cities, and was later named a victor. This was the city's fourth win in the annual National Civic League competition.
The spotlight for the 2021 award was on building equity and resilience. Fort Wayne's application highlighted three community-building projects as examples of its efforts: Riverfront Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne United and Fort Wayne Community Schools' Family and Community Engagement Center.
Mayor Tom Henry was in the virtual show to represent the city and thank the community for “embracing everyone in this community.”
“Fort Wayne, Indiana, is a city that has really strove towards diversity and inclusiveness,” he said. The city last won the award in 2009, Henry's second year in office. Fort Wayne was also named an All-America City in 1983 and 1998.
The award, given to 10 communities each year since 1949, celebrates and recognizes villages, cities, counties, tribes and regions that tackle challenges with innovative, inclusive and effective programs, according to a news release. The finalist communities, representing 15 states, range in population from 9,000 residents to over 1.2 million.
The other 2021 winners are Bellevue, Washington; Carlisle, Pennsylvania; El Paso, Texas; Evanston, Illinois; Kansas City, Missouri; Livermore, California; Miramar, Florida; Morrisville, North Carolina; and Wheat Ridge, Colorado.