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Bend Park and Rec seeks public input on diversity, equity and inclusion

BPRD

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Bend Park and Recreation District said Monday it wants to hear from community members about how the district is doing and how it can improve in being a more diverse, equitable and inclusive organization.

A community survey opens Monday to seek input as part of a year-long project to assess strengths, opportunity for improvement and to develop actions to build trust with members of the community who have been historically underrepresented and underserved.

The 15-minute survey, available in Spanish and English, is open from July 19 through Aug. 22. A digital copy of the survey is here.

Survey questions include:

  • Do you feel welcomed, accepted and respected when you visit parks, trails, facilities or participate in programs?
  • Do you feel you have equal access to facilities and programs?

“It is our responsibility to celebrate diversity, be inclusive and accessible, and to reduce inequalities to improve our service to the community,” said Michelle Healy, the park district's deputy executive director. “We are determined to practice our values in our work and have them be reflected in our programs and amenities. To do this, we need help.”

BPRD hired Talitha Consults to lead a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) project, which includes the survey, an organizational assessment and action plan. Over the past six months, work has been started with a staff survey, input by the Board of Directors and interviews with community members.

The district will share the survey results, organizational assessment and DEI action plan by late 2021, and begin implementing the actions immediately following.

“We are holding ourselves accountable to do better. The work in process and ahead will require conversation, collaboration and openness to change,” added Healy. “It will take time and we will make mistakes—but we are fully committed to engaging in this process of growth and service.”

For more information, visit the park district's DEI webpage.

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