2022 Monthly Virtual Learning Subscription

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The 2022 Monthly Virtual Learning Subscription includes 12 pre-scheduled learning events (one per month) with free access to archived 2022 subscription events throughout the subscription year. The subscription includes 8 Virtual Talks and 4 Virtual Sandboxes (see schedule below). These events (previously known as Premier Webinars) occur on the second Thursday of each month at 2 p.m. ET unless otherwise noted. 

NRPA’s Virtual Talks feature knowledgeable subject matter experts presenting on timely insights from research and practice. NRPA’s Virtual Sandboxes create online networking experiences for participants to talk shop, compare notes and swap advice around hot topics in the field.

January 13, 2022 - Health and Wellness* Talk 
Using Arts and Culture to Support, Engage and Celebrate Diverse Youth

February 10, 2022 - Advocacy and Access* Talk 
Accessing New Federal Infrastructure Investments

March 8, 2022 - Maintenance and Operations Sandbox 
(Not available on demand)

April 14, 2022 - Conservation* Talk 
Exploring the Climate.Park.Change. Toolkit

May 12, 2022 - Maintenance and Operations* Talk 
Water Challenges and Future Irrigation Practices

June 9, 2022 - Advocacy and Access Sandbox 
(Not available on demand)

July 14, 2022 - Health and Wellness* Talk 
Community Wellness Hubs: A Public Health Solution

August 11, 2022 - Advocacy and Access* Talk 

September 8, 2022 - Conservation Sandbox 
(Not available on demand)

October 13, 2022 - Innovation Talk (this talk will be pre-recorded)
Innovative Solutions in San Francisco: Examining a Case Study and the India Basin Equitable Development Plan

November 10, 2022 - Research* Talk 

December 8, 2022 - Health and Wellness Sandbox 
(Not available on demand)

*Indicates worth 0.1 CEU 

  • Contains 4 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Released November 2022! NRPA’s Research and Evaluation team develops data and tools park and recreation leaders can use to optimize operations and make the case for greater and more sustainable funding. Join this talk to review insights from the latest NRPA research reports and evaluation activities. Hear from NRPA’s librarian who will demonstrate how park and recreation professionals can identify resources that will help them address the challenges they face. Available on demand in November!

    NRPA’s Research and Evaluation team creates tools and educational resources that help agencies measure their impact on their communities. Join this session to review the latest NRPA research resources including: NRPA Park Metrics, Agency Performance Review, Economic Impact of Parks Report and 2022 Engagement with Parks Report. NRPA’s librarian also will highlight other new and updated resources that make it easier for park and recreation professionals to find answers to their most pressing questions.   

    Learning Objectives: 

    1. Learn about NRPA’s research findings and insights that can help optimize agency operations and make the case for funding 
    2. Discover resources and tools that help agencies evaluate their delivery of service and promote greater community engagement 
    3. Learn more information about resources that NRPA is developing to further assist park and recreation professionals 

    Kevin Roth, PhD (he/him)

    Vice President of Research, Evaluation and Technology

    National Recreation and Park Association

    Kevin A. Roth serves as NRPA's Vice President of Research, Evaluation & Technology. Roth leads the research team in its mission to create valuable data and metrics that enhance park and recreation agency performance and make the case for increased and more stable agency funding. He also oversees the team delivering IT and web services to the association. 

    Roth has served in research and leadership functions in the nonprofit association space for more than two decades, including overseeing both research and IT at the Association for Financial Professionals for 13 years and conducting survey research at the National Association of Realtors for four years. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from George Washington University and a BA in Economics from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

    Melissa May (she/her)

    Senior Research Manager

    National Recreation and Park Association

    Melissa came to the NRPA Research team in 2015 with a background in environmental planning, GIS, and government contracting. At NRPA, Melissa helps with producing member surveys and reports, as well as, creating Tableau interactive graphics and ArcGIS StoryMaps. Additionally, Melissa leads work related to NRPA Park Metrics, Facility Market Reports and Park Pulse.

    Dianne Palladino, PhD (she/her)

    Director of Evaluation

    National Recreation and Park Association

    Dianne Palladino (she/her) is NRPA’s Director of Evaluation. Dianne oversees evaluation activities and strategy at NRPA, and she is dedicated to developing training and resources for park and recreation professionals that will assist with effective, low-cost evaluation efforts in the field. Dianne has over 17 years of research and/or evaluation experience and leadership and additional experience in several diverse fields. She holds undergraduate degrees from Clarkson University and Georgia Institute of Technology, and she earned her Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University.

    Karen Carter (she/her)

    Librarian/Senior Manager of Information Services

    National Recreation and Park Association

    Karen Carter joined NRPA in April 2021, bringing with her extensive association and library experience and a passion for connecting people with the information they need to do their jobs effectively. Prior to joining the NRPA team, Karen held information services positions with the National Association of State Workforce Agencies, the International Monetary Fund, the American Psychological Association, and the National Agricultural Library.  Karen received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Houston and a Masters of Library and Information Science from Rutgers University. She is excited for the opportunity to learn from and serve the parks and recreation community. 

  • Contains 4 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Released October 2022! Join us for the third session in a series focused on innovation to learn about groundbreaking work that is helping improve communities. Learn more about San Francisco’s coronavirus (COVID-19) response and a waterfront development that addressed key issues of economic, cultural and physical displacement.

    During this third session in a series focused on innovation, join as speakers from the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and the A. Philip Randolph Institute San Francisco discuss key takeaways from two of their recent projects. Speakers will present an overview of the India Basin Equitable Development Plan (EDP) as a roadmap to maximize the benefits of the park project for the Bayview-Hunters Point community, and talk about the plan’s goal to address any unintended negative impacts development might have, including economic, cultural and physical displacement. In addition, learn about a new San Francisco case study Showing Up While Everything Is Shutting Down: A Story of Cooperation in San Francisco which details efforts to support children, youth and families through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

    Jacqueline Flin

    Executive Director

    A. Philip Randolph Institute San Francisco

    Jacqueline Flin was born in San Francisco, CA at the Presidio. She was raised with two brothers, by a active unionist father and an mother who immigrated from the Philippines and served in the U.S. Coast Guard. She received her B.S. degree in Cellular Biology from the University of California at Davis.  

    Flin began volunteering for the A. Philip Randolph Institute San Francisco as a youth leader participating in efforts to educate low-income communities about local elections and voting initiatives. She was then hired as a receptionist at the California Labor Federation, an organization dedicated to promoting and defending the interests of working people and their families for the betterment of California’s communities. After a brief career in the biological science field, in 2009, she returned to San Francisco in a leadership role as the Executive Director of the A. Philip Randolph Institute San Francisco.  

    In the time she served as Executive Director, she has expanded the organization’s capacity to offer public services that include: Workforce Development, Youth Career and Leadership Development, and Equity Development Strategies. She established public and private partnerships that support invest directly in the Bayview Hunters Point. She has a network of relationships with City and County departments, unions, local businesses, community based organizations, service providers, and residents. She is committed to building the community through organizing and leadership.  

    Phil Ginsburg (he/him)

    General Manager

    San Francisco Recreation and Park Department | City & County of San Francisco

    Phil Ginsburg is the general manager of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department. With more than 4,100 acres and over 220 parks under its jurisdiction, the Recreation and Park Department stewards some of the most spectacular public spaces in the world, including Golden Gate Park, Coit Tower and the Palace of Fine Arts. Under Phil’s leadership, San Francisco became the first City in the United States where 100% of its residents live within a ten-minute walk of a park. Phil has led his organization through transformational improvements to the public realm and he has made equity and increasing access to public recreation and to nature, the department’s primary objective. Phil has built a financially sustainable model for San Francisco’s park system through ballot advocacy, the strategic use of public-private partnerships and philanthropy, creative revenue strategies, technology and administrative efficiencies. During his tenure, San Francisco has been consistently ranked one of the nation’s top five park systems. In 2019, Phil was appointed to the California State Parks and Recreation Commission by Governor Gavin Newsom.

    Dr. Maria Su

    Executive Director

    San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Their Families (DCYF)

    Dr. Maria Su is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Their Families (DCYF). Maria was appointed by Mayor Gavin Newsom to lead DCYF in 2009. DCYF grants out approximately $70M each year for services that support children and youth from birth to age 24 and their families. Prior to DCYF, Maria held senior management and executive positions at the Vietnamese Youth Development Center in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District and at SF General Hospital-UCSF. She currently serves as a Commissioner on the San Francisco First 5 Children and Families Commission, is the Co-Chair of the Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council. Maria is a member of the San Francisco Re-entry Council, the Workforce Investment Act Youth Council, and the San Francisco Childcare Planning and Advisory Council. Maria earned her B.A. in Psychology from Boston University and her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Alliant International University-CSPP.

  • Contains 5 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Playground safety isn’t just about the physical space and infrastructure. Park and recreation professionals also should consider how the social experiences of playground visitors can be improved through an equity lens. Join NRPA staff and playground experts for a conversation on how to promote positive experiences for anyone enjoying a playground.

    What do you think about when you hear: playground safety? While we typically think about physical infrastructure when examining playground safety, there is another layer we can’t overlook. During this learning event, we will discuss the history of the Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) Certification while exploring the mental, social and emotional benefits of play. NRPA staff and playground experts will discuss the concepts of equity and inclusion as they relate to playground safety and discuss how park and recreation professionals can provide a safe space for the children in their communities to play and grow together. As children, we make so many memories on playgrounds that help shape us. And as park and recreation professionals, Certified Playground Safety Inspectors, playground manufacturers, nonprofit organizations and more, we play a critical role in creating a safe space for children to play and learn.   

    Leanne Lyons (she/her)

    ASPIRE ( Adaptive Sports, Programs & Inclusive Recreation) Supervisor

    High Point Parks & Recreation Department

    Leanne Lyons is the ASPIRE ( Adaptive Sports, Programs & Inclusive Recreation) Supervisor for High Point Parks & Recreation Department and a Licensed and Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist for the State of North Carolina. Leanne has an innate passion for working with and for individuals with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities. Leanne manages programs including Special Olympics of High Point/Guilford, Miracle League of High Point, adaptive sports programs and more. In her personal life Leanne enjoys reading, writing poetry, hiking, exploring Diners, Drive in and Dives Restaurants, listening to Air One and K- Love radio station, and spending time with family and friends.”

  • Contains 5 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Every day, in communities across the country, park and recreation professionals are making their communities better places to live, learn, work and play through their role as stewards of Community Wellness Hubs. Learn more about NRPA’s vision for Community Wellness Hubs, explore ways park and recreation can improve health across seven dimensions of well-being, and hear from peers about the impact of their Community Wellness Hubs.

    How has access to parks and recreation influenced your personal health and well-being? How has it impacted your communities? Join NRPA for an exploration of the many ways parks and recreation influences health. Attendees will be guided through NRPA’s new Community Wellness Hub toolkit and its overall vision including key concepts, definitions and examples of health equity and systems change approaches across NRPA’s seven dimensions of well-being. Several agencies that have developed Community Wellness Hubs will join to share their lessons learned, the impact this work made on their community, and how they are sustaining their work moving forward.

    Allison Colman (she/her)

    Director of Health

    National Recreation and Park Association

    Allison Colman is Director of Health at the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). For over a decade, Ms. Colman has led the development and implementation of evidence-based public health initiatives and built cross-sector collaborations to advance innovative, community-driven, systems-change strategies that improve community health and well-being. Her work lies at the intersection of public health, social justice, and social change, with the goal of ensuring that all people have the opportunity to truly thrive.

    Austin Barrett, PhD (he/him)

    Evaluation Manager

    National Recreation and Park Association

    Austin Barrett (he/him) is an Evaluation Manager with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). Austin joined NRPA in 2021 and works to evaluate the impact of NRPA-facilitated grants and Association-wide activities. Prior to joining NRPA, he served for 3.5 years as a Data Analyst and System Administrator working to address homelessness in the Upstate of South Carolina. In 2017, Austin completed his Ph.D. in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management at The Pennsylvania State University. Before that, he worked as a Wilderness Ranger for the US Forest Service and an Interpretation Ranger with the National Park Service.

    Ayanna Williams (she/her)

    Facility Manager

    City of Ozark- Ozark Leisure Services

    My name is Ayanna Williams, I am a 37 year old mother of 3. I have lived in Ozark, Alabama approximately 6 years. I have truly enjoyed being a part of the community, knowing people, and being able to be a part of all the great people who want to help and see the best for our community. I went to school at Troy University for Psychology with minor in Applied Behavioral Analysis and my goal is to go further for my Masters as a BCBA.

    Shelly Strasser (she/her)

    Director of Recreation and Community Services

    West Allis-West Milwaukee School District

    Vhelly has been in the field of Recreation for over 25 years.  She is the Director for the West Allis-West Milwaukee Recreation and Community Services Department, where she has served in the role for the past 14 years. She leads a team of 14 full time staff and 300+ part time/seasonal employees in a community of approximately 64,000. Shelly is the current  President of the Wisconsin Park and Recreation Association.  

  • Contains 5 Component(s), Includes Credits

    With the increasing scarcity of water resources, water conservation is key to maintaining our natural resources and fiscally sustaining our organizations. Join Jim Laiche of The Toro Company as he explores important elements of water conservation through irrigation operations and design.

    In the face of climate change, park and recreation professionals can take steps to conserve one of our most important natural resources: water. Join The Toro Company’s Jim Laiche for a discussion on challenges of maintaining water resources in a cost effective and environmentally sustainable way. Participants will explore basic design elements, including maintenance of proper water pressure, water flow and maximum capacity sprinkler performance. Learn about specific, recommended water conservation products as well as examples of sites using new technology that minimize water use while maintaining healthy vegetation. 

    Jim Laiche (he/him)

    Water Conservation Business Manager

    The Toro Company

    Jim Laiche received his BS in Horticulture and Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University.  He has worked professionally as a landscape architect and design-build contractor prior to working with The Toro Company.  Jim has been a Regional Sales Manager, Golf Sales Manager and is now the Water Conservation Business Manager with emphasis on central control equipment.  Jim has taught hundreds of irrigation workshops at various national universities including LSU, UGA, Mississippi State University, University of Arkansas, NC State, Penn State, UVA and Virginia Tech. He has worked with many large institutions on reducing their irrigation water use, including Disney, University of Notre Dame, Central Park, General Mills, Yum Brands the US Capitol, Marriott and Darden Restaurants. He has obtained his landscape architect license, certified designer with the Irrigation Association, and Texas irrigator license. Jim was recently recognized by the American Society of Irrigation Consultants with the Roy Williams Memorial Award for contributions to the irrigation industry.  

  • Contains 4 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Explore the use of the Climate.Park.Change. toolkit to advance community-driven solutions based on data and evidence-informed strategies to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Nationally, Climate.Park.Change. taps into the unique opportunity that the park and recreation field has by leveraging its essential public green spaces in communities across North America to advance climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies at scale through localized, community-driven solutions.

    Research shows that 2020 was the hottest year on record, highlighting the impacts of climate change happening now. Park and recreation professionals, who serve nearly every community in the United States, are poised to advance climate mitigation and adaptation strategies to build environmental and community resiliency through the power of local parks and recreation. However, understanding the specific climate change challenges facing each community and developing associated strategies for addressing them can be daunting, as few aggregated resources on the subject exist. As part of its 2020 research grant program, Sasaki, in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) has created a toolkit for resilient parks: Climate.Park.Change. Designed as a web-based platform, Climate.Park.Change compiles data on how climate change affects park and recreation spaces and suggests physical design solutions that address climate impacts, as well as other community challenges.

    Lan Yang (she/her)

    Landscape Designer


    Lan Yang is a landscape designer with Sasaki. She is based in Boston but is involved in projects across the United States and internationally. Yang has been on the team building Climate.Park.Change. from the very beginning. She has a deep understanding of the possibilities with master’s degrees from University of Pennsylvania in landscape architecture and regional planning and a master’s degree in architecture.    

    Anna Cawrse (she/her)

    Associate Principal


    Anna is a landscape architect and Co-Director of Sasaki’s office in Denver. She has worked on and managed complex built projects and master plans across North America. From large regional parks along major waterways to small pocket parks within the urban fabric of cities, Anna brings an expertise on how to transition master planning of the public realm into realized space. At every design scale, she has committed her practice to bringing nature into cities based on context-sensitive solutions and looks for innovative ways to create these connections. Anna is dedicated to engaging the community in all of her
    projects and strives to create designs that reflect the current and future communities’ needs.

    Ayanna Williams, MSW (she/her)

    Director of Community and Environmental Resilience

    National Recreation and Park Association

    Ayanna Williams, MSW  Director of Community and Environmental Resilience Ayanna Williams comes to NRPA as a tested leader in place-based environmentally focused nonprofits. Most recently she was the Healthy Cities Director at The Nature Conservancy in Georgia, mobilizing public and private financial support, facilitating equity centered conversations, and sharing stories of impact with caring respect for all.  For more than a decade she served as the Director of Community Building with Park Pride.  Throughout her career she has cultivated a broad perspective and deep understanding of environmental resilience, building and maintaining relationships, while engaging in work that depends on diverse local partnerships and the support of national institutions. Ayanna possesses a unique combination of hands-on experience, knowledge fueled passion, and commitment to community. Ayanna has also worked with the United Way of Central Indiana, the University of Michigan's Ginsberg Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement, and Hands On Atlanta AmeriCorps. She holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan with a concentration in community organizing and social systems. Ayanna grew up in Michigan's Manistee National Forest where she developed an appreciation for green spaces, gardening, and community. 

  • Contains 5 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Join NRPA’s public policy and advocacy team for this educational series, held quarterly, to learn about the federal resources potentially available to your agency. This talk focuses on the new infrastructure investments that the federal government is making and the ways you can access them.

    Recently, the bipartisan “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act” was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden. It is the largest investment in infrastructure made in nearly a century. Participate in this online learning event to become familiar with this investment and learn more information about accessing the funding. This talk expands on topics that the NRPA public policy and advocacy team covered in the blog, “Breaking Down the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.”


    1. Become familiar with the federal infrastructure package.  
    2. Allow attendees to think creatively about how they might qualify for and access infrastructure investments

    Christopher Douwes (he/him)

    Community Planner

    Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

    Christopher Douwes is a Community Planner with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in Washington DC. He has managed the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) since 1992, Transportation Enhancement activities since 2003, Transportation Alternatives since 2012, and has assisted with Bicycle and Pedestrian Activities since 1992. He manages contracts for research, technology development, technical assistance, and training for trail and bicycle and pedestrian-related activities. Christopher received his Masters of Science in Transportation from Northwestern University in 1990.

    Madeline Wade (she/her)

    Vice President

    Signal Group

    Madeline Wade is a widely respected leader in the sustainability, climate, and conservation community. She is a founder and co-chair of Signal Outdoors, which is the firm’s practice group dedicated to public lands, outdoor recreation, and conservation. Madeline advises corporations, nonprofits, industry trade associations, and thought leaders on climate change and sustainability regulations, policy, and global trends. She has worked with organizations to develop and position their internal sustainability goals and helped to design the policies to reach those goals. She routinely leads coalitions in the policy outdoor space that are focused on advancing natural climate solutions, seeking funding for conservation programs, and reforming laws to protect public lands and access to outdoor recreation.

    Ken McLeod (he/him)

    Policy Director

    The League of American Bicyclists

    Ken leads policy initiatives to improve bicyclist safety, manages the Bicycle Friendly State program and data.bikeleague.org, and provides technical assistance to people and groups working on state and local initiatives. His goals are to promote policies that take advantage of one of the best technologies ever invented - the bicycle, contribute to a thriving bicycle advocacy community, and help people see the future where a Bicycle Friendly America exists for everyone. Ken joined the League in 2012 after graduating from William & Mary Law School and he is a licensed attorney in the state of Virginia. He has a bachelor's degree from Pomona College in Claremont, CA. When he’s not at The League, you can find him serving as Chair of the Roanoke Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee, doing projects around his 100-year-old house, and climbing the Blue Ridge Mountains on his bike.

    Kyle Simpson (he/him)

    Director of Government Affairs

    National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)

    NRPAs Director of Government Affairs. Kyle has been with NRPA for nearly 4 years. Prior to that he spent over 10 years on Capitol Hill in a variety of roles.

    Elvis Cordova (he/him)

    Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy

    National Recreation and Park Association

    Elvis Cordova is the Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy for the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).  He leads NRPAs federal policymaking initiatives by providing strategic planning for enhancing community-based advocacy and capacity building programs, and stakeholder engagement aimed at advancing overall health and well-being, equity, and climate readiness. Elvis is a seasoned executive with over a decade of experience developing and implementing innovative solutions for some of the most significant and high-profile challenges facing the U.S. public sector. He has a unique combination of political, legal, economic, and international expertise. He is a proven strategist and manager, adept at building coalitions and communicating effectively to diverse stakeholders. He has built an intimate knowledge of the workings of the U.S. government and has developed strong relationships with a range of policymakers. Elvis was previously appointed by President Barack Obama to serve in various leadership roles at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) including Chief of Staff, Deputy Under Secretary, and Acting Under Secretary. During his tenure at USDA, he oversaw the federal agencies that handled food labeling programs (including organic and biotechnology), international trade regulations, research  educational grant programs, nutrition programs, commodity procurement, plant and animal health regulations, process verification programs, land conservation programs, and the expansion of local and regional food systems. He also served on the White House Task Force for Puerto Rico, where he focused on strengthening public-private partnerships to aid in the economic recovery efforts for the island. He entered the federal government a Presidential Management Fellow and worked for the Farm Credit Administration and at the U.S. Department of Energy where his work encompassed alternative energy, congressional affairs, economic development, financial services, and international relations. 

    Outside of the federal government, Elvis served as a consultant for the United Nations where he focused on improving international trade development strategies for emerging markets. He also served as a management analyst for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. He began his career as a financial analyst at the Harvard Management Company. Elvis holds a Masters degree in Public Administration from the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University and a Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University. He is a recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Graduate Fellowship and holds various professional certificates from Georgetown University, Harvard University, University of California at Berkeley, Universidad de Sevilla (Spain), Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina), cole Nationale des Travaux Publics de ltat (France), and Pontificia Universidade Catolica (Brazil). In his personal time, Elvis works with various national leadership organizations to create and expand opportunities for diverse communities in the Washington, D.C. area. He has previously served on the Executive Board of the Washington D.C. Chapter of Prospanica (fka the National Society of Hispanic MBAs). He has served as a senior advisor for the Aspen Institutes International Career Advancement Program. He is a graduate of several executive-level training programs including Leadership Alexandria and the Political Leaders Program from the Sorensen Institute at the University of Virginia. He is an alumnus of Project Interchange, which is an international leadership program of the American Jewish Committee and an alumnus of the Hispanic Leaders Program, a professional development program organized by the Foreign Ministry of Spain.

  • Contains 5 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Join us as we explore how park and recreation professionals can use arts and culture to support and engage youth of diverse backgrounds and experiences – including youth of color, LGBTQ+ youth, and those with varying mental, social and physical abilities.

    Increasingly people, especially youth, are calling for immediate action to be more inclusive of diverse populations and perspectives. Join this online learning event to explore youth engagement models adopted by municipal entities in partnership with arts and cultural organizations using a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) lens. Explore case studies and best practices showcasing how parks and recreation can apply this model in their own communities. This event also examines:

    • Partnership and relationship building
    • Actions to minimize stigma and bullying
    • Ways to increase economic opportunities
    • Importance of the arts and culture on health and well-being


    1. Gain a larger understanding of/education about ways to minimize stigma and bullying.
    2. Learn how to offer opportunities and creative outlets for disenfranchised youth.
    3. Learn the importance of arts and culture on health and well-being.

    Esther Triggs (she/her)

    Associate Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

    Interlochen Center for the Arts

    Esther Triggs has dedicated her career to educating communities in anti-racism, diversity, equity and inclusion practices. Triggs’ unique experience in both theatrical and corporate settings allows her to bridge gaps in facilitating conversations which leads to empowerment of individuals and groups toward equitable solutions. Triggs is an alumnus of Cornell’s Diversity and Inclusion certificate program and a graduate of CUNY SPS’ master of arts in Applied Theatre program, that utilizes theatre for social justice work. She supports organizations in understanding the perceptual, institutional, and psychological process which impact the bottom line of an organization and how we, in community, interact with each other and create a culturally competent workplace.

    Juliet King (she/her)

    Associate Professor of Art Therapy

    George Washington University

    Juliet King MA, ATR-BC, LPC, LMHC and is an Associate Professor in the Art Therapy Department at GWU and also holds an appointment as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Professor King received her MA in Art Therapy from Hahnemann/Drexel University and has two decades as a clinician, administrator and educator. She developed and implemented the graduate Art Therapy program at Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI, Indianapolis, IN and her leadership has spearheaded the development of over 30 graduate student internships in the Indianapolis community and throughout the state. She also developed and continues to oversee the first Art Therapy in Neuroscience and Medicine program at the Indiana University Neuroscience Center. Professor King’s research explores the systematic integration of art therapy and neuroscience with a particular focus on neuroaesthetics and Mobile Brain-Body Imaging (MoBI) as a method of understanding the mechanisms of change in the therapeutic process. In 2016 she wrote and edited a textbook titled Art therapy, trauma and neuroscience: Theoretical and Practical Perspectives. Currently Prof King is pursuing PhD study in Translational Health Sciences with a specialization in cognitive neuroscience.

    Lauren Kiefert (she/her)

    Program Manager

    National Recreation and Park Association

    Lauren Kiefert is a Program Manager for the National Recreation and Park Association. Lauren joined NRPA in January 2019 and supports the organization’s youth development, mentoring and mental health portfolio. Lauren brings a wealth of knowledge to NRPA, having both educational and professional experience in the public health field. Prior to joining the association, she completed her Master of Public Health degree from George Washington University, with a focus on health promotion and prevention efforts. Lauren has also been involved in substance use prevention coalitions, working with local youth and community stakeholders to address prevention, education, and awareness efforts.

    Rafael Torres (he/him)

    Program Manager

    National Recreation and Park Association

    Rafael Torres is a Program Manager for the National Recreation and Park Association, he joined NRPA in July 2021 and supports the organization’s youth development, mentoring and mental health portfolio. Rafael brings numerous years’ experience in grantmaking initiatives and program management to NRPA, largely  focusing on youth/education, social justice and culture. Rafael completed his Master of Arts degree from New York University, with a focus on non-profit arts administration.