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Equity and Inclusion

Children playing on a play structure in Gabriel Park
Portland Parks & Recreation is committed to the overall Citywide vision that race will have no detrimental effect on people of color, refugee and immigrant communities in accessing our parks and natural areas, or from the benefit of our services.
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What is Equity?

Equity is achieved when one's identity cannot predict the outcome.
Working definition from The City of Portland's Office of Equity and Human Rights (OEHR)

Equity Statement

We recognize, understand, and encourage celebration of the differences that surround us. Diversity and equity are vital to Portland Parks & Recreation's ideals and values.

 PP&R Five-Year Racial Equity Plan (1.31 Mb)

Meaningful Access Statement

It is the policy of the City of Portland that no person shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in any city program, service, or activity on the grounds of race, color, national origin, disability, or other protected class status. Adhering to Civil Rights Title VI and ADA Title II civil rights laws, the City of Portland ensures meaningful access to City programs, services, and activities by reasonably providing: translation and interpretation, modifications, accommodations, alternative formats, and auxiliary aids and services. To request these services, contact 503-823-2525, or for Relay Service or TTY, contact 711.

Translation and Interpretation

Language Services

Portland Parks & Recreation is committed to making sure all Portlanders can access City services, regardless of language. We make free walk-in and over-the-phone translation services available in over 240 languages, including American Sign Language.

Language Interpretation

For our verbal in person and over the phone language interpretation needs we have a contract with LanguageLine Services. LanguageLine is able to provide us with over the phone interpretation in over 200 languages, 24 hours a day. All community members who interact with PP&R staff may request language interpretation services at any time, at no cost to them, and the PP&R staff will call an interpreter through our contracted service provider.

City of Portland Language List and Guidance

The languages listed are languages spoken by approximately 1,000 or more Limited English Proficiency (LEP) individuals in the City of Portland service area:  

  • Spanish: Español
  • Vietnamese: Tiếng Việt
  • Chinese: 中文
  • Russian: Русский
  • Somali: Soomaali
  • Ukrainian: Україньска
  • Romanian: Română
  • Nepali: नेपाली 
  • Chuukese: Chuuck

Additional languages spoken by many of Portland’s LEP community members (numbers did not reach the 1,000 threshold, but are important to note due to the number of community members who speak the language):  

  • Japanese: 日本語
  • Korean
  • Tagalog
  • Laotian (Lao): ລາວ
  • Arabic: عربي
  • Mon-Khmer Cambodian

More details at the Office of Equity and Human Rights (OEHR) City of Portland Language List and Guidance webpage.  

Equity and Anti-Racism Lens

The Equity and Anti-Racism Lens is a set of guiding principles for Portland Parks and Recreation (PP&R) to create equitable outcomes for all communities. Applying an equity lens to our work helps the bureau reflect on how our decisions may disproportionately burden communities, such as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), people living with disabilities, people living with low income, immigrants and refugees, members of the LGBT2SQIA+ community, and unsheltered people. Put another way: this lens centers the people most impacted by systemic racism and inequities.

The Equity and Anti-Racism Lens helps to integrate explicit consideration of racial equity in the decision-making process, by applying seven principles:

  • think about the desired result;
  • engage internal and external stakeholders;
  • gather data; 
  • determine who benefits and/or whom is burdened;
  • diminish harm and develop opportunities;
  • evaluate and be accountable
  • communicate

Access the full document here: 

Additional Information

Jurisdictions of other cities and public organizations have adopted their own equity tools. Here are some of the examples:

The City of Seattle's Racial Equity Toolkit is part of the City of Seattle’s overall effort to eliminate racial inequity and is a set of questions designed to guide the development, implementation, and evaluation of policies, programs, projects, and budget issues with an equity lens.

The City of Madison created two tools for its Racial Equity and Social Justice Initiative (RESJI): a comprehensive version for significant decisions and a fast track version to be used only for low-stakes decisions. As of April 2015, the toolkit, with an emphasis on stakeholder involvement, has been used on seven to eight different projects and featured in GARE’s toolkit.

Racial Equity Tools is a collection of tools, research, and tips to support individuals and groups working to achieve racial equity.  

The Native American Program of Legal Aid Services of Oregon, the Indigenous Ways of Knowing Program at Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling, the Western States Center, the Pride Foundation and Basic Rights Oregon collaborated on the Tribal Equity Toolkit: Tribal Resolutions and Codes to Support Two Spirit & LGBT Justice in Indian Country.

Western States Center developed training tools and curricula on organizational development and various issues surrounding equity and inclusion.

City of Portland Racial Equity Resources

  • Office of Equity and Human Rights
    The Office of Equity and Human Rights (OEHR) provides education and technical support to City staff and elected officials, leading to recognition and removal of systemic barriers to fair and just distribution of resources, access and opportunity, starting with issues of race and disability. To learn more, please visit the OEHR website.
  • Social Equity Contracting
    Information on the City's small business programs and business community engagement. To learn more, please visit the Social Equity Contracting page.

City of Portland Nondiscrimination Notice

The City of Portland operates in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, ORS Chapter 659 A, Portland City Code Title 23, and other related statutes and regulations, such that no person shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in any City program, service or activity on the basis of race, color, national origin, English proficiency, disability, sex, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or familial status, or source of income. 

The City of Portland also requires its contractors, vendors, and grantees to operate likewise. 

To help ensure access to City programs, services, and activities, the City of Portland reasonably: provides language translation and interpretation for limited English proficiency individuals; modifies policies and procedures; and, provides auxiliary aids, services and/or alternative formats to persons with disabilities. 

To request an accommodation, modification, translation, interpretation or language service; to file a complaint; or for additional information or questions on Civil Rights Title VI and ADA Title II matters (race, color, national origin, English proficiency, and disability nondiscrimination in public City programs, services, activities): contact the Civil Rights Title VI and ADA Title II Program Manager by phone at 503-823-2559, or TTY/Oregon Relay Service at 711.

The City of Portland operates in accordance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Title I of the ADA, and other related statutes, regulationsand City rules. For requests, questions, complaints, or for additional information related to Employment and Civil Rights, pleasereview Human Resources Administrative Rule 2.01, Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Human Resources Administrative Rule 2.02, Prohibition Against Workplace Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation on the Bureau of Human Resources website (tab Administrative Rules) or contact our Bureau of Human Resources by phone at 503-823-3572, or TTY/Oregon Relay Service at 711.

Portland Parks & Recreation’s developing civil rights page offers information related to making programming more accessible and inclusive.