Equity Program


Working Definitions

Equity is an environment where the [institutional/organizational] culture values and operates with fairness despite one’s race, ethnicity, gender, physical or intellectual ability, religion, or sexual orientation.

Racial equity is the condition where one’s racial identity no longer predicts individual or group outcomes for success and well-being.

Advancing racial equity employs analysis and strategies at the root cause of inequities and disparities; working to address disparities through changes in policy, practice and procedure.

Inclusion is authentic and empowered participation with a true sense of belonging.

Inclusive engagement of Asheville’s residents is demonstrated through meeting community where they are and working collaboratively to ensure the engagement is valued.


The Asheville Parks and Recreation Department (APRD) has been working on equity, inclusion and diversity since 2011. Currently, three areas of work – Racial Equity, ADA and Gender Inclusion – are the focus. The Racial Equity Action Plan is an internal working document that will guide racial equity work during 2017-20. It reflects what staff have heard from community members and groups through existing relationships and projects, and captures ongoing work from the past years, work that was initiated this year, and new initiatives. It establishes timelines, accountability and performance measures for each action. Furthermore, it outlines key steps to ensure staff are equipped with necessary training, knowledge and tools to integrate racial equity into their work and the organization a whole.

The Racial Equity Action Plan is a working document, and as such, it will be continually enhanced and improved upon through future staff and community dialogue.

The action plan supports ongoing internal transformational change to ensure a continued high level of service to the evolving community.

The Racial Equity Action Plan is organized under five goals:

A. Creating/developing/fostering a culture that values and advances racial equity.
B. Create an effective and inclusive government that engages all communities.
C. Create APRD workforce reflects the diversity of community across the breadth and depth of the organization.
D. APRD investments in contracting and procurement benefit the diversity of the community.
E. Providing programs and services that are responsive and reflective of community needs.


Supporting Documents

2017-2020 Racial Equity Action Plan
Equity Program Performance Metrics FY18
Cost Recovery Model and Pricing Strategies
Equity Matrix Criteria & Scoring Program
Equity Scoring Results for Facilities
Investing in Neighborhood Parks & Facilities
Memo to Planning & Economic Development Committee – January 16, 2018
Park Services Districts, Census Tracts, and Neighborhoods
Presentation – The Equitable Allocation of Community Park & Recreation Resources


Contact Information

Roderick Simmons, Director
828-259-5800

Related Services

Register for programming

Register for parks & recreation programming such as camps and activities for children, teens, and adults.

asheville basketball team game
Athletics

Information about athletics programs offered by the City of Asheville.

asheville park natural setting with stream
Enjoy greenways

Explore an interactive map of the City's greenways and learn how to use them for your recreation and transportation enjoyment.

community parks and recreation event
Community events

Find upcoming camps, events, and programs and reserve a spot when space is limited.

Equity Program News

Asheville Summer Camp 2021 poster
Asheville Parks & Recreation announces summer camps for 2021

Registrations begins March 1   Asheville Parks & Recreation announces a fun and exciting camp line-up for summer! Our camps may look a little different this year, but we’re still bringing the fun for youth and teens at our camp locations. All programs will follow public health guidelines and include enhanced safety measures, limited numbers of participants [...]

red foxes
WNC Nature Center to welcome new red foxes

    Welcome to your new home, Samson and Bonita!  The two red foxes will be joining the other residents of the WNC Nature Center and are coming to us from Izzie’s Pond Sanctuary in Liberty, S.C.   Samson and Bonita have something more in common than their new home.  They are both less than a year old and [...]

North Carolina State Senior Games
Local athlete wins at virtual State Senior Games finals

  David Shepard earned some hardware at the recent North Carolina State Senior Games.  A resident of Black Mountain, he planned to compete in the Asheville-Buncombe Senior Games as a qualifier for state competition; but when COVID-19 forced cancellation of the local games and in-person state games, state level competition was held virtually.  In this year’s [...]