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DEI Stakeholder Group Statement of Intent

Posted By Amanda Parsons, Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Date Last Modified: June 12, 2019


The Oregon Recreation and Parks Association (ORPA) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Stakeholder Group serves to develop a coalition of parks and recreation professionals who have an interest in the improvement and sustainability of practices that promote DEI principles.  The DEI Stakeholder Group aims to provide equity-related resources and guidance to the ORPA board as well as ORPA membership.  The group would take aim at creating a mission, setting goals, and creating actionable items that can provide direction to the board and members of ORPA.


ORPA Strategic Plan and Mission

The ORPA mission is to support the recreation and park profession in Oregon through leadership, education, advocacy, and member services.  As part of strategic long-term planning, ORPA developed a Strategic Plan (2016-2020).  This plan identified a strategic initiative to support diversity, equity and inclusion as part of research and long-term planning.  This initiative includes:

  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Parks & Recreation (R&LP 2.1)
    • Actively explore and define what socio-economic equity, diversity and inclusion look like for park and recreation service providers in order to anchor a broader discussion among ORPA members and partners.
  • Statewide Conversation on Diversity (R&LP 2.2)
    • Lead a conversation among ORPA members and the wider community on equity, diversity and inclusion through the lens of parks and recreation program services.
  • Implementing Social Equity (R&LP 2.3)
    • Develop and implement initiatives where park and recreation programs reflect the values of social equity and inclusion that have been identified.


DEI Stakeholder Group Responsibilities

The DEI Stakeholder Group will be organized to provide recommendations to the ORPA board and members for achieving goals in the strategic plan related to DEI principles including, but not limited to, internal organizational processes, training, and advocacy.


Potential outcomes of projects

  • Define diversity, equity, and inclusion as it relates to the goals of the stakeholder group and ORPA.
  • Prioritize areas of social injustice and inequities in parks and recreation to drive coalition building efforts.
  • Increased participation from minority/diverse communities in parks and recreation profession
  • Increased awareness and advocacy of equity/quality of life provided by parks and recreation organizations and stakeholder groups
  • Outlining standard practices/service levels of parks and recreation organizations for outreach and meeting needs of minority/diverse communities with assistance from stakeholder groups
  • General support of DEI practices in the civic leadership of local, regional, and statewide communities.
  • Provide guidance for ORPA Annual Conference session submissions and establish indicators of DEI related sessions for conference attendees.


How to Get Involved

Participation in the DEI Stakeholder Group is a collaborative effort made up of a diverse group of individuals.  Participation is not restricted to ORPA membership.  We encourage professionals from parks and recreation, non-profit organizations, partner organizations or other interested stakeholders to join.


Those wishing to be a part of this group should reach out to Amanda Parsons, staff-member of the Oregon Recreation and Park Association.


Amanda Parsons -; 503.534.5673

Tags:  dei 

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A Letter in Response to the Death of George Floyd

Posted By Amanda Parsons, Wednesday, July 22, 2020

An open letter to our membership:


On May 25th George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis, was murdered by a white police officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes.  This horrible tragedy is not the first incident of excessive force disproportionately deployed on African Americans.  It is a reflection of the continued racism and anti-blackness perpetuated in the United States.  

We believe we can do better as a society.

We hope this event will result in systemic change.  That change starts with dismantling white supremacy, the root of the issue.  This is a long and difficult journey.  It takes everyone working at various levels of the public, communities, government, and institutions to make a change to do better. 

How do we start?

First, we would like to take a moment to acknowledge power structures and how they have historically contributed to systemic and institutional racism.  Below this letter we acknowledge racism nationally, in Oregon, and the white-ness of our own organization.

Second, we are sharing resources.  These resources will help you be more informed and understand why racism is a crisis impacting everyone.

Third, we are providing you with tools for action.  The most common questions we hear during a crisis of any kind are “How can I help?” or “What can I do?”  These tools will give you direction.

And finally, we understand the importance of having a safe space to address these issues.  We will be scheduling a virtual round table specifically for BIPOC in parks and recreation.  More information will follow in the coming weeks.


Please take the time this week to practice self-care.  Recognize that those around you may need space as they try to heal.  Reach out to friends, family, or co-workers so that you are not alone.  And as always, connect with ORPA with any questions or support you may need.



DEI Committee,

ORPA Board of Directors,

and ORPA Staff



  • We acknowledge that the United States is built on a system of white supremacy, with the founding belief that black folk and people of color are not equal and will not enjoy equal rights.
  • We acknowledge that anti-black sentiments differ from other forms of racism in that the experiences of black people in this country are layered and complex.
  • We acknowledge the implications of slavery in this country and the continued historical trauma experienced by black people today.
  • We acknowledge that racism still exists and systems of privilege actively work to enforce white nationalism.
  • We acknowledge that silence is support for the oppressor.
  • We acknowledge the role racism has played in the establishment of Oregon and the black exclusion laws prohibiting black people from settlement until final repeals in 1926.
  • We acknowledge that the Oregon Recreation and Park Association is a white-led organization with inherent systems of privilege; that the industry of parks and recreation is largely dominated by white culture.
  • We acknowledge that ORPA, staff, board, or individual representatives cannot speak for an entire race or culture; nor is it our role to set the narrative for these groups.

Articles and Resources


More diversity, equity, and inclusion resources in the ORPA Resource Library


Tools for Action

Tags:  dei  equity  racism 

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Oregon Recreation & Park Association | PO Box #202, Lake Oswego OR 97034 | 503.534.5673
ORPA is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization