September 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 27

Such inequality provides the
considerable challenge we must
overcome. Within a park and recreation context, studies have identified a racial and social disparity in
the distribution and benefit of park
and recreation services. Across the
United States, the availability, type,
condition and usage of recreational
resources and programs show a disparity between communities of color compared to white communities.
The Racial Economic
and Social Divide
I believe park and recreation departments play a crucial part in racial and
social justice. Park and recreation
agencies must examine how their
programs are bridging this racial economic and social divide. An effective
equity, inclusion and social justice
approach requires that the agency
examine its impact on the community, review its policies and practices,
and determine who has and has not
benefitted from its services. Are we
passive or active in addressing social
inequality in our community? How
does race and class play a role in our
decision making? Do we engage, involve and empower all voices in the
community? How are we perceived
and are we trusted by historically
marginalized communities?
These are just a few questions,
but integrating equity, social justice
and inclusion practices within park
and recreation agencies requires intentional focus, review and development of new habits of thinking
and operating. This also entails a
commitment to explore and remove harmful policies and practices that have had an adverse effect
on historically marginalized communities. Park leaders will need to
truly adopt practices of inclusion

Across the United States, the availability, type, condition and
usage of recreational resources and programs show a disparity
between communities of color compared to white communities.

and belonging and foster strong
and authentic relationships across
racial and class divides.
Legislation alone will not end
injustice, bias and discrimination.
However, helping individuals within an organization and in communities form meaningful relations
grounded in empathy and mutual
respect is needed to eliminate the
harmful effects of bias, bigotry and
discrimination.
I serve as the equity, inclusion and
social justice manager for the King
County Department of Natural Resources and Parks; I also served in a
similar role with Portland Parks and
Recreation, supporting the implementation of the bureau's five-year
racial equity plan. In this role, I was
engaged with almost every facet of
the organization and I worked with
colleagues to apply equity, inclusion
and social justice practices within
their discipline. This requires a commitment from the entire organization. I often say that you cannot microwave equity, inclusion and social

justice. The adoption of anti-racist
policies and practices involves creating systems that ensure equitable
hiring, promotion and retention
practices, and the design of culturally responsive services; fostering
effective community partnerships
with historically marginalized communities; and providing meaningful
participation of minority business
that might lead to potential contracting opportunities.
Ultimately, my role is to help
park and recreation agencies lead
by example regardless of a community's race or socioeconomic
status, to make sure that community members receive the benefits of
park and recreation services and to
continue the tradition of park and
recreation programs advocating for
social justice and ensuring that every community is healthy, vibrant
and racially just.
Arthur (Art) Hendricks (he,him,his) is Equity, Inclusion and
Social Justice Manager for the Department of Natural
Resources and Parks in King County, Washington
(arhendricks@kingcounty.gov).

PA R K S A N D R E C R E AT I O N .O R G | S E P T E M B E R 2 02 0 |

Parks & Recreation

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September 2020 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of September 2020 - Parks & Recreation

September 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 1
September 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 2
September 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 3
September 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 4
September 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 5
September 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 6
September 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 7
September 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 8
September 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 9
September 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 10
September 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 11
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September 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 19
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September 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 25
September 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 26
September 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 27
September 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 28
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September 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 60
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2010
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