The recent horrific killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Manuel Ellis and others are a sad reminder of society’s struggle to effectively address racism, discrimination, and unconscious bias. It’s a reality that one cannot fully grasp unless you’ve experienced it. And for those of us who have not, we need to listen, educate ourselves, and be present in this moment.
The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy supports the national movement to eliminate racial injustice in all forms. We stand in solidarity with black and brown communities and with all who face injustice, and unite with them to pursue permanent, positive, and just results.
We will stay true to our mission and focus on our parks and urban green spaces. With a clearer lens and new sense of urgency, we continue our effort to improve the quality of life for all people of Pittsburgh by ensuring park equity through restoration of all 165 city parks. Park equity means so much more than providing new equipment and increased park maintenance.
Park equity cannot be achieved unless everyone feels welcome in all parks.
To that end, together, we must create park spaces that truthfully reflect diversity, that highlight the characteristics of neighborhoods and communities, that create opportunity, that foster growth, that support our mental, physical, and emotional well-being, that lift up all who visit and, most of all, that are safe.
We will educate our leaders on the positive impact park equity can have on broader urban equity challenges such as affordable housing, infrastructure investment, health and wellness, youth development, and environmental justice.
We cannot do this right without first looking inward. At the Parks Conservancy, we are already having honest, at times uncomfortable, internal conversations evaluating our history through the lens of systemic bias and developing a plan to be the best we can be moving forward.
As we live through these unsettled times and strive to improve our world and community, we remember that basic human decency and kindness are never the wrong decisions.