Diversity and Equity Committee

A group photo of the Diversity and Equity Committee
Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) recognizes that in order to achieve equity throughout the bureau, a well-coordinated effort across and at all levels of the organizations is necessary. The role of the DEC is integral in creating a link between the employees, management and city leadership.
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Mission Statement

Portland Parks & Recreation's Diversity and Equity Committee (DEC) will advise the bureau Director and Equity and Inclusion team on bureau policies and budget. The DEC will facilitate the implementation of Bureau policies and practices to remove barriers to and promote diversity, inclusion, and racial equity best practices. 

Member Position Description and Selection Process

DEC Mission
PP&R’s Diversity and Equity Committee (DEC) will advise the bureau Director and Equity and Inclusion Team on bureau policies and budget. The DEC will facilitate the implementation of policies and practices to remove barriers and promote diversity, inclusion and racial equity best practices.

DEC Membership Selection Process
The DEC strives to have representation from all bureau work units. DEC membership vacancies will be announced at a minimum on an annual basis with an option of additional recruitment to PP&R employees and departments where vacancies occur.

Candidates for the DEC will be asked to complete a Statement of Interest application form. Candidates whose applications are moved forward will be invited to participate in individual or small group interviews. Top candidates will be selected to serve on the DEC. Candidates must get approval from their supervisor prior to submitting their Statement of Interest.

Roles and Responsibilities

Members must carry out the following duties:

  • Provide leadership to development and execution of bureau equity goals
  • Understand the goals and objectives of key bureau policies related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (Racial Equity Plan (REP), Gender Neutral policy, etc.)
  • Engage in informed dialogue around bureau policies and budget
  • Serve as liaison to their bureau division and department, providing information on the work of the DEC, and participating in the division and department planning around diversity, equity and inclusion (e.g. Division REPs)
  • Commit to participating in at least two (2) professional development opportunities per year, related to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Attend all required bureau or DEC trainings
  • Serve on at least two (2) hiring panels annually
  • Provide at least two (2) Bias Awareness Training sessions to hiring panelists, annually (all DEC members receive training to be certified in administering Bias Awareness Training)
  • Attend and participate in monthly DEC meetings
  • Attend and participate in monthly subcommittee meetings (all members are required to serve on a subcommittee)

Preferred Qualifications

  • Demonstrated understanding of, and commitment to, championing diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts in the workplace and community
  • Ability to participate in dialogues around removing barriers and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion best practice
  • Experience collaborating with, or within, diverse groups to overcome obstacles and improve outcomes
  • Proficient verbal and/or written communication skills
  • Self-awareness and an open mind

Terms, Attendance, and Time Commitment

DEC members are expected to make a two-year commitment and have the option to continue for a second two-year term without reapplying. Members seeking reappointment after two (2) terms must submit a Statement of Interest expressing interest in serving another term.

DEC members are required to attend all DEC monthly meetings. Meetings occur on the third Thursday of every month from 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm, at rotating locations. If a member cannot attend a meeting, they are required to inform the DEC co-chairs before the meeting, to be excused, and inform their supervisor or manager.

Time Commitment
DEC members are expected to spend up to eight (8) hours per month working on DEC objectives. This time commitment includes, but is not limited to: attending DEC meetings, attending one full day annual retreat, reviewing meeting notes and handouts, attending trainings, subcommittee and working group meetings, and taking opportunities to represent the work and values of the DEC in their work.

Members are expected to serve their full term. Resignations are requested in writing provided to the co-chairs. All DEC members are encouraged to help identify, recruit and support their replacement on the committee.


DEC subcommittees are made up of members and non-members of the DEC who are committed to diversity and equity within PP&R. 

The Budget Subcommittee works to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion goals in PP&R’s financial decisions and processes. 

The Communications subcommittee is committed to sharing information about diversity and equity within the bureau and sharing news of the committee’s work on behalf of the bureau. 

The DEC Policy Subcommittee is a working group that supports the DEC by evaluating existing and new Bureau-wide policies and practices (including guidelines, rules, and protocols), and developing proposals to ensure an equitable and inclusive bureau.  

Recruit, Hire, Promote and Retain 
The Recruit, Hire, Promote, and Retain subcommittee focuses on hiring and employment practices as shown in the REP.  The subcommittee works directly with the Workforce Development manager to monitor and report on the bureau’s hiring and retention.   

The Structure subcommittee internally supports the work of the DEC through member recruitment, co-chair recruitment, and updating the bylaws. The subcommittee works with the Communication subcommittee to elevate the bureau’s equity and inclusion gaps to the Director’s office and the Senior Management Team and for recruitment. 

Application and Statement of Interest

Equity in Recruitment Checklist

This checklist is designed to reflect PP&R’s commitment to diversity and equity in hiring. By planning ahead, intentionally considering diversity during recruitment, and actively conducting outreach to community partners, we will continue toward our goal of having a workforce that is as diverse as the community we serve. Thank you for your leadership in this vital initiative. For questions about this process, contact the Workforce Development Manager at 503-312-1522 or margaret.evans@portlandoregon.gov. After completing this form follow the NeoGov instructions to submit.

Racial Equity Goals and Strategies Video

The City of Portland’s Office of Equity and Human Rights presented its City-wide Racial Equity Goals and Strategies to City Council for adoption as City Policy on July 8, 2015.

Values: Respect and Inclusion

Value the diverse voices, experiences, and perspectives of all individuals; respect the voices of people of color, women, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, and others who have historically been marginalized and continue to face institutional disparities.

To help promote best practices in diversity, equity and inclusion within the Bureau and the City of Portland, PP&R’s DEC has been active in the following ways:

Equity Dialogues
These quarterly, half day sessions are a collaboration between the DEC, the Fostering Equity Support Team (FEST), and the Senior Management Team (SMT). The facilitated sessions are designed to build trust, teamwork, and understanding around equity and inclusion outcomes for the bureau. 

Northwest Public Employees Diversity Conference
Since the DEC was established, a record number of PP&R staff (12% to 14%) have participated and/or volunteered for the annual City/County Diversity Conference.

Several DEC members have completed cultural competency training and are now certified diversity trainers for the City of Portland.

Cultural Events
PP&R's DEC has sponsored monthly City of Portland cultural activities. These include National Disability Awareness, Hispanic Heritage Month, and Asian Pacific Heritage Month.

Career and Job Fairs
DEC members consistently help staff career and job fair booths.

Guest Speakers
The DEC invites individuals and community organizations from underrepresented populations to speak and educate PP&R staff in ways to engage these communities, as well as how to become more culturally competent.

Members and Meetings

The DEC is made up of staff from throughout Portland Parks & Recreation. The committee members typically serve a two-year term. PP&R employees are encouraged to contact any of the committee members listed below to help familiarize themselves on the committee’s efforts, or if staff have diversity-related questions or concerns.

The DEC meets monthly on the third Thursday from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm. Locations vary. Contact one of the DEC members listed below if you are interested in attending one of the committee meetings.

Diversity and Equity Committee members

Past Meeting Minutes