Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Counsel

CPRS Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion 

JEDI Virtual Roundtables

Join the JEDI Counsel and fellow park & recreation professionals for our free quarterly virtual roundtable discussions. 

Each quarter we take up a new topic, Counsel members help guide the discussion, attendees learn from others, share their own experiences, and have space to ask difficult questions.  These virtual roundtable events offer a 'brave space' for open dialogue and learning about what can be challenging topics.  The roundtables will not be recorded so participants may feel more welcome to have authentic and productive discussions.  All are welcome to attend, CPRS membership is not required.  

Click on the upcoming roundtables below to register!

    If you'd like to suggest a topic for future roundtables, please contact JEDI Counsel Co-Chair, Lauren Oakley.  


    About us

    In 2022, we took the monumental step of forming the CPRS Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) counsel, a permanent standing committee approved by the CPRS Board of Directors. The Counsel evolved from the work and value of the JEDI Task Force - a group of individuals who were committed to the advancement of JEDI work within CPRS. It was not created to act as an advisory board, enacting rules and regulations, but rather to assist, build and connect our collective stories.

    Our Counsel is made up of 18  counselors representing various locations, job focuses, backgrounds and more. Each Counsel brings with them a unique talent and commitment to advancing this important work.

    The CPRS JEDI Counsel is looking forward to engaging and publishing its work, and we hope to see you join us in this journey. If you encounter any questions that our counsels can assist with, please be sure to engage and ask especially through the online community. 

    Feel free to reach out to the co-chairs directly with your questions:

    • Tiarra Warner - Co-Chair
      Community Services Manager at the City of Rohnert Park

    • Lauren Oakley - Co-Chair
      Director of Professional Development at the California Park & Recreation Society

    As of March 2024, JEDI Counsel members include: 

    • Marianne Aranda, City of Ukiah
    • Pamela Bianchi, County of Santa Clara
    • Dustyn Bindel, City of Sunnyvale
    • Dominic Broadhead, Los Gatos-Saratoga Community Education and Recreation
    • Adam Chow, City of San Ramon
    • Tara Gee, City of Roseville
    • Doug Grove, RHA Landscape Architects - Planners, Inc.
    • Becky Herz, Orangevale Recreation & Park District 
    • Leah Martinez, Town of Danville
    • Sara Nahass Lopez, City of Brisbane
    • Teresa Ramirez, City of El Monte
    • Victoria Reyna, City of Lancaster
    • Ashley Sylvester, City of St. Helena
    • Brandon Taylor, California State University Fresno
    • Heather Vilhauer

    ICYMI: 2024 JEDI Academy

    The inaugural JEDI Academy took place May 2-3, 2024, at the beautiful Lake Merritt Sailboat House in the City of Oakland.  More than 65 park, recreation, and industry professionals from 35 different organizations attended this two-day professional development event.  The Academy aimed to offer attendees “intermediate” education about JEDI principles (i.e., Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) to be implemented in their daily work, within their workplaces, and even in their personal lives as community members.  All 2024 JEDI Academy experiences focused on Awareness, Belonging, and Communication. 

    The programming offered across the two-day academy included:  

    • Mindfulness Meditation w/ Samara Reynolds
      • Awareness
    • Equity System Change Management w/ Darlene Flynn, City of Oakland [0.15 CEUs]
      • Awareness, Communication
    • Together We Dine Luncheon w/ Project Unity
      • Awareness, Belonging, Communication
    • Belonging 2.0 w/ Tiarra Warner, City of Rohnert Park [0.1 CEUs]
      • Belonging
    • So, You've Identified Your Privilege, Now What? w/ Frankie Nelson, City of Folsom, Penelope Crouse-Feehan, City of Folsom, & Ashika Lal, Southgate Recreation and Park District [0.125 CEUs]
      • Awareness
    • Equity in Budgeting w/ Leah Martinez, CPRP, City of Hayward [0.125 CEUs]
      • Awareness, Belonging
    • Park Access & Equity w/ Tara Gee, City of Roseville & Doug Grove, RHA Landscape-Architects [0.125 CEUs]
      • Awareness, Belonging
    • JEDI Policy Builder Workshop w/ Becky Herz, Orangevale Recreation and Park District [0.15 CEUs]
      • Awareness, Communication

    JEDI Academy attendees are able to access the photos and presentation materials (that were shared) within this Google Drive folder.  

    Group photo in front of the Lake Merritt Sailboat House

    The Together We Dine Luncheon on the first day was the nexus of the A, B, C’s of the Academy content and the CPRS Strategic CARD Framework.  Attendees were split up into diverse groups of about 7 people with a facilitator from Project Unity at each table providing rules for engagement and guidance through the experience.  Everyone received a question of their own regarding equity, race relations, allyship, inclusion, etc. Participants got to practice listening, communicating, and being vulnerable while also being productive and respectful.  The shift in energy after the luncheon was significant, far beyond simply breaking the ice – it seemed as though the group was truly connecting and cultivating belonging.  At the end of the luncheon, attendees were asked what gave them hope; some responses are pictured below. 

    collection of post-it notes

    Here are some insights from JEDI Academy attendees: 

    The JEDI academy allows us to have educated conversations surrounding difficult topics. After attending I'm now more confident in making decisions regarding these sensitive issues.
    Empowering. Poignant. Inspirational. That's how I would describe the 2024 JEDI Academy. From the sessions, there were a wide variety of experiences and it was nice to hear the perspectives of other like-minded people. And though we did not all have the same point of view or agree on everything, together we were able to navigate the critical process of discovery and consider strategies for making impacts in our communities. All-in-all, the JEDI Counsel planned and executed an impactful, well-thought-out, insightful, and transformational academy.
    There were plenty of "ah-ha" moments but I'll round it down to the small intimate table talks. I think that was my favorite part of the event. A judgment free zone where we got to speak and listen.
    I know realize how "systemic" discrimination is. It's not just a few bad actors. It's built into the system.
    Just because programs are full doesn't mean that we are meeting the needs of the community.
    Equity creates the path between hope and change.
    We want to express our thanks to the City of Oakland for serving as the host of the inaugural JEDI Academy and to Group 4 Architecture for being our title sponsor.  The Academy would not have been possible without our community of supporters! 
    JEDI Academy Sponsors



    Dismantling barriers to resources and opportunities in society so that all individuals & communities can live a full & dignified life. These barriers are essentially the "isms" in society: racism, sexism, classism etc.


    Allocating resources to ensure everyone has access to the same resources and opportunities. Equity recognizes that advantages and barriers - the "isms"- exist. Equity is the approach & equality is the outcome. 


    The differences between us based on which we experience systemic advantages or encounter systemic barriers to opportunities.


    Fostering a sense of belonging by centering, valuing, & amplifying the voices, perspectives & styles of those who experience more barriers based on their identities.