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Top tags: Just Ask Jan  dei  Astoria  equity  Park Projects  racism  We Are ORPA 

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.

 

Sincerely,

DEI Committee,

ORPA Board of Directors,

and ORPA Staff

 

Acknowledgements

  • 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
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