August 2021 - 19

others. Equality refers to " sameness. " In contrast, equity
refers to fairness. It addresses the question, " Who gets
what? " or in normative terms, " Who ought to get what? "
These questions undergird much political debate and
move equity into the multifaceted realm of individuals'
value systems, which makes a common interpretation of
the word both elusive and divisive.
Equity is a fertile area for controversy into which
economists, philosophers, political scientists and lawyers
have ventured. Each discipline brings a different
perspective to it. The result is perhaps best expressed
by Humpty Dumpty who could have had equity in
mind when he explained to Alice in Through the Looking
Glass, " When I use a word it means just what I choose
it to mean - neither more nor less. " Many who use
" equity " assume everyone has the same intuitive definition
of it. This is a fallacious assumption.
A consequence of this vagueness and the word's
multiplicity of meanings is that everyone can be enthusiastic
about equity, but many are dissatisfied with the
actions that ensue because it is not what they meant.
It is a catch-all word that means so many things to so
many people that it clarifies almost nothing.
In contemporary society, Senators Ted Cruz and
Bernie Sanders are prominent political leaders. Both
passionately advocate that resource allocations and delivery
of services should be " equitable. " Senator Cruz
interprets this to mean that those who benefit from
services should pay for them; a perspective which may
be characterized as " market/benefit equity. " In contrast,
Senator Sanders argues for " compensatory equity, "
meaning that government should provide extra
increments of resources and services to those who are
economically disadvantaged and cannot afford to purchase
basic services from the private sector.
The intent of establishing equity as a pillar of
NRPA's work is to encourage the field to shift it from
being a random outcome of policy and service delivery
decisions to an intentional commitment to an agreed
principle of equity.
There are four widely used interpretations of equity:
* Compensatory Equity, which seeks to ameliorate inequities
by disproportionately investing resources in
economically disadvantaged areas.
* Equality, which strives to deliver equal amounts of
recreation and park services to all groups and areas
in the community.
* Market/Benefit Equity, which is analogous to the
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market mechanism used to allocate goods and services
in the private sector (i.e., those who receive a
service should pay the cost of producing it).
* Demand, in which resources are allocated where
they generate the greatest good for the greatest number
as indicated by participation levels, interest levels,
and/or amount of advocacy.
In the next few months, this column will focus on
how to establish and integrate a desired interpretation
of equity into a park and recreation agency's operations.
Communities and segments within communities
embrace different interpretations of equity. The challenge
for park and recreation managers is to determine
which are dominant in their community and to put that
interpretation " at the center of all we do. "
John L. Crompton, Ph.D., is a University Distinguished
Professor, Regents Professor and Presidential Professor for
Teaching Excellence in the Department of Recreation, Park
and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University and an
elected Councilmember for the City of College Station
(jcrompton@tamu.edu).
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August 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of August 2021

August 2021 - Intro
August 2021 - Cover1
August 2021 - Cover2
August 2021 - 1
August 2021 - 2
August 2021 - 3
August 2021 - 4
August 2021 - 5
August 2021 - 6
August 2021 - 7
August 2021 - 8
August 2021 - 8a
August 2021 - 8b
August 2021 - 9
August 2021 - 10
August 2021 - 11
August 2021 - 12
August 2021 - 13
August 2021 - 14
August 2021 - 15
August 2021 - 16
August 2021 - 17
August 2021 - 18
August 2021 - 19
August 2021 - 20
August 2021 - 21
August 2021 - 22
August 2021 - 23
August 2021 - 24
August 2021 - 25
August 2021 - 26
August 2021 - 27
August 2021 - 28
August 2021 - 29
August 2021 - 30
August 2021 - 31
August 2021 - 32
August 2021 - 33
August 2021 - 34
August 2021 - 35
August 2021 - 36
August 2021 - 37
August 2021 - 38
August 2021 - 39
August 2021 - 40
August 2021 - 41
August 2021 - 42
August 2021 - 43
August 2021 - 44
August 2021 - 45
August 2021 - 46
August 2021 - 47
August 2021 - 48
August 2021 - 49
August 2021 - 50
August 2021 - 51
August 2021 - 52
August 2021 - 53
August 2021 - 54
August 2021 - 55
August 2021 - 56
August 2021 - Cover3
August 2021 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com