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Jim Barnes, Assistant Village Manager, Village of Wellington
Equity necessitates ensuring all people have fair and just access to the benefits of high-quality, local parks and recreation. Parks and recreation serves as an important voice for social equity and inclusion. We must put equity at the center of all we do. True to the very philosophy of public parks and recreation is the idea that all people — no matter the color of their skin, age, income level, or ability — have access to and are welcomed into programs, facilities, places, and spaces that make their lives and communities great. How do we as parks and recreation professionals help our communities become more equitable and just? It's easy to say “don’t discriminate” but how do we truly confront discrimination if we do not talk about its flip side, privilege. One side of discrimination is that someone is suffering from an unearned disadvantage. The flip side is privilege, when someone is benefiting from an unearned advantage. These are difficult conversations that can make people uncomfortable, uneasy, defensive, or elicit feelings of guilt. This session examines our role in such conversations and how we can guide such conversations in constructive ways. Get strategies for avoiding pitfalls and observe activities that can help people understand their own and others’ lived experiences.
1. Participants will understand the role of race, gender, sexuality, religion, and class in daily life and the crisscrossing systems of discrimination or disadvantage.
2. Participants will develop strategies to effectively approach conversations about privilege and the feelings of defensiveness or guilt that come with understanding the role of privilege in our society.
3. Participants will discover activities that we can use in our organizations or communities to further the discussion of privilege