By Dr. Brandon Taylor, Fresno State, and Dr. Heather Vilhauer, Cal State East Bay
Source: California Parks & Recreation magazine, Winter 2021, Vol. 77, No. 1
As parks and recreation organizations look to move forward with justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts, leaders often ask what their first steps should be. While there is no right answer to this question, one place to start is with your own organization’s culture, specifically, at how inclusive it is for your staff.
From an individual perspective, inclusion is defined as how welcome a person feels to be their authentic selves at work. According to the Arvana Group, an organization with an inclusive culture fosters a sense of belonging by centering, valuing, and amplifying the voices, perspectives & styles of those who experience more barriers based on their identities. Personal views on an organization’s culture’s inclusiveness are impacted by experiences with leaders, co-workers, and the organization’s norms and standards.