Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Willamalane

Willamalane’s mission is to provide exceptional parks and recreation to enrich the lives of everyone we serve. Over the last year, Willamalane committed to stand against racism and all forms of oppression. With this commitment, Willamalane has established diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts as a district priority and permanent initiative. The work is guided by a new position at Willamalane, a diversity, equity, and inclusion supervisor who also leads a district-wide committee. Willamalane identified strategic goals to address the internal work needed to enhance DEI within the workplace, parks, programs, facilities, and open spaces it manages and maintains.

From Executive Director Michael Wargo:
"Willamalane is committed to addressing and dismantling the systems of oppression that contribute to ongoing and continued acts of hate and trauma against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, LGBTQIA+ people, women, and individuals experiencing visible and invisible disabilities in our community. Willamalane looks forward to forging relationships with the groups who have been historically excluded in the community. The work that lies ahead for our district will not be easy, but it is a priority at every level of the organization."

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Strategic Action Plan

The Strategic Action Plan strives to make Willamalane’s work environment, operations, hiring, outreach, recreational facilities, programs, outdoor spaces, and activities accessible, welcoming, equitable, and inclusive to all.


The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Supervisor reports on progress every month at public Board of Directors meetings. The Strategic Action Plan is subject to annual updates.

Progress Report

Goals for June 2020-April 2022:
Create a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Supervisor position and allocate paid time for committee members to do DEI work. Completed June 2020.  Develop DEI Committee structure, new member selection process, and by-laws. Completed October 2020.  Develop a DEI budget. Completed May 2021.  Research grants and other additional funding resources.  Create DEI public information page and resources. Completed July 2021.  Update ADA/Accessibility public information page and resources. Completed March 2021.  Design and implement an accountability plan.  Revise staff Behavior Agreement to include DEI values. Completed June 2021.  Assess staff training needs by department.  Maintain employee engagement on DEI topics through internal communication and guest speakers. Ongoing.  Create DEI onboarding for new staff.  Complete an annual staff satisfaction survey.  Complete a job description audit.  Complete an analysis of bilingual pay benefits. Create a mental health sick leave policy.  Completed June 2021.  Update the inclusion policy.  Create a gender inclusion and affirmation policy.  Create family-friendly policies.  Update reasonable accommodations policies.  Integrate DEI values into new hire orientation and onboarding process.  Create district-sponsored commemorative theme days.  Comply to new standards of Civil Rights Act regarding personal pronouns.  Create more inclusive standards for job listings and talent acquisition.  Audit job descriptions and promotions.  Analyze how race and gender are a factor in pay equity.  Create pay incentive tiers for employees to learn and use multilingual skills.  Implement unbiased interview and hiring process. Checklist updated July 2020.
Updated November 2021.  Click to enlarge.

Leadership Demographics:

It is critical to build and retain a workforce and leadership team that is reflective of the overall community being served. One of the Strategic Action Plan goals is to audit Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the leadership level. Over the course of the next four years, Willamalane will make serious efforts to improve our workplace culture, practices, and policies to become more equitable and inclusive to various identities and perspectives at the leadership level.

Willamalane Leadership
Willamalane leadership by gender and race
(click to enlarge)
Updated November 2021. Data provided by staff and managed by Willamalane's Human Resources software. Includes Board members, management team, program managers, and supervisors.

Springfield, Oregon Demographics, 2019
Springfield, Oregon demographic information
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Data from  U.S. Census Bureau. The census does not provide information about people who are non-binary. Willamalane working with partners to understand local demographics and will update this chart accordingly as more information is available.

Contact Us

If you have ideas, comments, or questions, we want to listen and use your feedback to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion conditions in the district. Please contact the diversity, equity, and inclusion committee at deiteam@willamalane.org.

You are also welcome and encouraged to attend monthly Board of Directors meetings. Monthly meetings have opportunities for public comment, and diversity, equity, and inclusion updates are given periodically. 

More Information and Resources

Triple venn diagram. Left bubble says Equity, right bubble says Diversity, bottom bubble says Inclusion. The intersection of equity and diversity, without inclusion, says "staff don't do their best work or leave the organization." The intersection between diversity and inclusion, without equity, says "Morale is low and staff don't feel they are treated fairly." The intersection of equity and inclusion, without diversity, says "Organization doesn't benefit from the creativity and innovation diversity offers." The intersection of all three says "Belonging."Defining Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
 Diversity for Willamalane is our team, our organization, and our community. Diversity is much more than a person’s race or ethnicity. It’s a broader definition for us. To truly be a diverse organization we must showcase acceptance and respect for differences in our various identities and perspectives.

Equity: Equity is not interchangeable with equality. Treating everyone equally maintains inequality. If Willamalane treats staff and community members equally, it considers them all to be the same. Equity focuses on individual and workgroup needs. Equity requires the district to acknowledge the different needs, experiences, and opportunities of its staff, community, and partners.

Inclusion: Inclusion is not a natural consequence of a diverse team, organization, or community. Inclusion requires intentional infrastructure and incorporation. To do so, the district must work with staff and community members it is designing for – starting with staff and extending to patrons and community members.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Our Community
Willamalane's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion partners serve a diverse range of backgrounds, needs, and access points. They advise Willamalane on its efforts, and Willamalane supports theirs.
CALC Community Alliance of Lane County logo    City Wide Union de Activistas logo   Springfield Alliance for Equity and Respect logo   Showing Up for Racial Justice Springfield-Eugene logo   

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