Today, Catherine Nagel, Executive Director of City Parks Alliance, issued the following statement:
“We mourn the loss of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others and reflect on the violence, threats, and unjust treatment of people of color. We must reexamine and recommit to our values as people, and as institutions, and do better collectively to end racism and seek justice.
“City Parks Alliance remains committed to our organizational values and supporting communities to leverage the power of parks and recreation to empower individuals and to help cities address their equity goals. We will continue to listen and learn together with our members.
“City Parks Alliance will redouble our ongoing efforts to ensure that safe, welcoming, equitable parks and recreation services–reflective of diverse needs and identity–can be a part of the solution. We believe that everyone living in urban areas should have access to quality parks and recreation opportunities without the threat of violence. Parks, public spaces, and recreation services have a role to play in addressing cities’ broader equity challenges and community development issues such as affordable housing, environmental justice and resiliency, youth development, incarceration reduction, food security, and more.
“City parks and recreation programs have been supporting the physical and mental health of our communities in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the health crisis has once again shown that more must be done to address park inequity in our country. Parks and recreation will continue to strengthen our democratic ideals and social resiliency as we exercise our right to assemble and protest peacefully, live powerfully in a diverse environment, and work together in our pursuit of racial equity and justice.”