Creating Community for Women in Parks and Recreation

Parks and recreation, like many professions, was once a male-dominated industry. While representation and diversity are increasing in the field, many women found themselves needing a space of their own—to collaborate, support, and learn from other women in parks, recreation, and leisure. To help us round out Women’s History Month, join us in conversation with Lakita Watson, NRPA Board Member and Executive Director of the Richland County Recreation Commission (South Carolina), as she discusses Women in Parks and Recreation and the unique challenges and amazing triumphs of women in the field. 

This talk is suitable for all learners, regardless of previous DEI knowledge.

By the end of this talk, presenters will have:  
-Discussed why they feel it is important for women to have their own space to create community.
-Spoken about the creation of the Women in Parks and Recreation, and its successes, challenges, and stories from the group.
-Highlighted what they see is necessary from the profession in continuing to support the advancement of women in parks and recreation. 

Lakita Frazier, CPRP (she/her)

Founder & CEO

Women in Parks and Recreation

Lakita Frazier is a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional with over 25 years of experience in organizational leadership, program development, and capital improvement project management. She served as the Executive Director of the Richland County Recreation Commission from July 2018 until February 2022. Lakita served as the director of parks and recreation for Suffolk, Virginia, from 2003 until 2018. During her tenure in Suffolk, Lakita oversaw the department’s Master Plan Update and led the agency’s initial CAPRA Accreditation. She has been a fellow in the American Academy of Parks and Recreation Administration (AAPRA) since 2020.

She currently serves as the CEO and founder of Women in Parks and Recreation (WIPAR), which is committed to providing a positive platform and space for women in the field to collaborate, connect and support each other. In 2021, WIPAR was established as a federally recognized 501c3 nonprofit organization with an online following of over 11,000. 

Lakita actively teaches and mentors and is committed to professional development and lifelong learning, presenting at local, state, and national conferences. She serves as an instructor and a co-chair of NRPA’s Director’s School and a regent for the Revenue Management Development School. Lakita is the immediate Past President of the National Recreation and Parks Ethnic Minority Society and serves on the American Academy of Parks and Recreation Administrator’s Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion Committee.  Lakita has been a member of the Board of Directors for the National Recreation and Parks Association since 2020, as well as a GP Red Advisory Committee and on the National Association of Park Foundations Board of Directors

Shalini Mirpuri (she/her) (Moderator)

Senior Education Manager - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

National Recreation and Parks Association

Shalini is the Senior Manager of Education - Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for NRPA. She is a passionate Educator who is focused on melding her love for parks with her commitment to social equity. Shalini believes that innovative education and inviting dialogue can build a shared investment in ensuring access to parks for everyone. She has been working on issues of equity for over 10 years in a variety of settings, including higher ed, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. She is particularly passionate about the intersection of gender-based violence and racial equality. Shalini holds a Masters in Education and an Education Specialist degree in Counseling from the University of Florida. 


Creating Community for Women in Parks and Recreation
Open to view video.
Open to view video.
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