Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

MRPA Board of Directors Approved the following Community Agreement on December 15, 2023

A Community Agreement is helpful for setting the rules of engagement in meetings, with the purpose of building a sense of community, and setting clear expectations and boundaries.  It is about setting the rules of how to work together – less about WHAT to do, and more about THE WAY we do it.  If we just assume we are all using the same rules of engagement – we may find we are frequently wrong.  It’s about setting guidelines for the way in which we show up and participate in conversations, with an awareness of power dynamics and with the effort to build trust.

RESPECT – Listen for understanding and be respectful of each other and the views of others.

EMPOWER YOURSELF – Bring your whole self to this space. Respect your own mind, body and spirit and vocalize and process your experience as you see fit.

ACCOUNTABILITY – Accept responsibility for your words and actions. Be aware of your power, positionality, and privilege.

ONGOING LEARNING – Engage with materials and new information with curiosity and an open mind. Have courage to challenge ideas and ask questions to seek understanding. Recognize that everyone is at different points in their learning and give room for others to learn without judgment.

SPEAK YOUR TRUTH – Say what you know to be true for you and your experience and not someone else’s experience.

CONFIDENTIALITY – Personal information shared in workshops or meetings should not be shared outside the session. Lessons go. Stories stay.

WAIT (Why am I talking?) – Be conscious of why you are (or are not) sharing. Be willing to share airtime with others in the group.

EXPECT NON-CLOSURE – Not every question or challenge can be resolved in one session or meeting.


MPRA Board of Directors Approved the following DEI Mission Statement on October 13, 2022.

MRPA strives to actively engage considerations of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in all aspects of our association. This includes, but is not limited to, how we function and make decisions as a Board of Directors, how we prepare professional development opportunities for our members, how we solicit sponsors for our events, and how we communicate with our members. Being intentional about our DEI mission is essential to improving the quality of life for all and further advancing the parks and recreation profession in Maine.

To be effective in this work, the MRPA DEI committee goals are to:

  1. Encourage representation of diverse lived experiences (diversity)
  2. Create and promote equal, open access to everyone (equity)
  3. Provide an environment where all members have a sense of belonging (inclusion)

Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

In response to the events that occurred in the United States in 2020, the Maine Recreation and Parks Association (MRPA) would like to take a moment to acknowledge the inequality and injustice that black people, and all people of color, disproportionately face in the U.S.  MRPA stands in solidarity with communities of color and condemns discrimination and racism in all its forms. We believe that black lives matter.

It has never been more important for the Recreation and Parks Community to be a leading voice for social equity and inclusion. Our communities are visiting our public spaces in record numbers to find the physical and mental health solutions that parks and recreation uniquely provide. MRPA is in the community building business – the business of creating joy and supporting health and well-being. As we follow our path to recovery, let us make sure we are opening our spaces and rebuilding our programs in service of our fundamental belief that everyone deserves great parks and programs.