Parks impact everyone’s quality of life. MPRB is committed to racial equity in the park system and our workforce. Racial equity for MPRB is when race is no longer a predictor of access to parks and recreation, health, well-being, and quality of life. We are committed to becoming a local and national model for racial equity in parks and recreation.

Action Plan

The Racial Equity Action Plan guides MPRB’s racial equity agenda through five main goals and actions to support each goal. In addition, the plan’s framework establishes priorities, timelines, accountability, and performance measures. The plan is updated every two years, based on ongoing, collaborative evaluation by staff and community members.

2017-2018 Racial Equity Action Plan Goals

  1. The MPRB creates, develops and supports a culture that values and advances racial equity.
  2. Minneapolis residents view the MPRB as an effective and inclusive governmental organization that engages all communities.
  3. MPRB’s workforce and hiring practices reflect the diversity of the community across the breadth and depth of the organization.
  4. MPRB investments in contracting and procurement benefit the diversity of the community.
  5. MPRB provides programs and services that are responsive and reflective of community needs.

To review the Racial Equity Action Plan and related materials, click on the link above under "Key Documents."


Since 2011, the MPRB has initiated a range of measures to assess, address and build racial equity within our workforce while improving diversity, cultural awareness and inclusion. Because change on a system-wide scale takes time, we continue to proactively examine how we assess and measure our improvements. For instance, among our full-time workforce, the percentage of non-white and multiracial staff grew to 24.79% in March 2016, from 20.49% in January 2011. Meanwhile, a 2015 Culture and Climate Assessment Report showed progress in many areas and noted others that need attention, including: communications around change, performance evaluation, recognition of employees and training and development for managers and supervisors. Currently, key efforts with respect to inclusion, diversity, equity and access planning, training and implementation include:

  • Participation in the Government Alliance for Racial Equity and its Advancing Racial Equity MN Cohort
  • Expansion of internal training opportunities
  • Organization-wide use of a racial equity tool in MPRB’s policy, planning, program and budget decisions
  • Ongoing implementation of a Racial Equity Action Plan that is updated every two years
  • Training in implicit bias for all staff involved in the hiring process
  • Bias training for all Minneapolis Park Police officers, offered by the League of MN Cities

Summary of MPRB Workforce - with city comparison noted [PDF]

Actions and Initiatives: Workforce Diversity – Inclusion - Cultural Awareness - Racial Equity [PDF]

Park Investments

Equity in funding capital projects and recreation centers

The MPRB is the first parks agency in the nation to incorporate racial and economic equity measures into ordinances that guide its entire capital improvement program. Approved in 2016 and 2017, the ordinances specify the use of relevant, data-driven criteria to address racial and economic equity in allocating capital funds for 160 neighborhood parks and 19 regional parks and trails.

A similar criteria-based model for allocating funds to its 49 recreation centers [PDF] was introduced with the 2018 budget.


This plan for the next generation of recreation centers in Minneapolis includes a comprehensive assessment of MPRB’s 49 centers and their program needs. Demographics within the City of Minneapolis are changing rapidly, which makes it more important than ever to ensure that we are meeting the needs of its diverse stakeholders. To learn more, visit the Project Page.

Park funding by commissioner district

This web page features comparisons of facilities, land acquisition, annual park investments and more across MPRB’s six commissioner districts; it also highlights annual improvements in each district.

Community Outreach

The Community Outreach Department was established in 2011 to embody and reflect our commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity. It leads organizational efforts to connect the Park Board to underserved communities, anticipate and thoughtfully respond to their needs and continually seek ways to better deliver park and recreation services. Its work includes:

  • Building relationships with underserved communities and serving as the bridge for the organization to provide equitable access to and use of parks, programs, opportunities, and information
  • Supporting MPRB’s efforts to recruit a workforce that reflects the racially and ethnically diverse communities it serves
  • Supporting data-driven decision-making around engaging and serving diverse communities throughout the organization
  • Producing and supporting community events that connect people across cultures to the parks and each other

Community Outreach actions and initiatives include:

  • Community Coordinators who engage specific underserved communities in the North, Northeast/Southeast, South and Southwest Service Areas
  • Cultural competency training for MPRB staff
  • The Bilingual Information Ambassador program, developed in collaboration with the Customer Service department, includes Spanish- and Somali-speaking customer service staff who conduct outreach at park and nonpark events and provide customer service by phone and email
  • Leading the application of the Racial Equity Toolkit in planning projects and policy development, including Bossen Field Master Plan, South Service Area Master Plan, RecQuest
  • Development of a Racial Equity Action Plan for the MPRB

Additional Reading:


Since 2011 the MPRB has initiated a range of efforts to improve diversity and inclusion and to integrate racial equity into all aspects of our work. We recognize that system-wide change takes time, both within the Minneapolis park system and our workforce, so our efforts are ongoing, and we take proactive measures to examine, assess and measure them. The timeline below shows a number of actions, initiatives and milestones regarding our efforts in these areas, while highlights are featured in our Diversity, Inclusions, and Racial Equity PDF.