Creating Opportunities for Underserved Youth in Louisville — Episode 084

By Cort Jones and Roxanne Sutton | Posted on February 9, 2021

Louisville Episode 84 blog 410

Pictured left to right: Dashaune Jones, JoCari Beattie and Kenyetta Johnson.

As we’ve discussed before, the unfortunate reality about outdoor recreation is that not everyone has equitable access to these opportunities and there are people who don’t necessarily feel welcome or safe in certain spaces. And while we continue advocating for equity in parks and recreation, it’s important to recognize that there are many systemic barriers in place that need to be broken down if we want a future with truly equitable outcomes. We’re excited to be joined on the show today by three individuals who are doing their part to address inequities and systemic racism in the outdoor spaces in their city.

Today we are welcoming staff members of the Jefferson Memorial Forest in Louisville, Kentucky, which is the largest municipal urban forest in the U.S., as well as a staff member of the Urban Conservation Corps (UCC) at YouthBuild Louisville.  We’re thrilled to be joined by JoCari Beattie, a community outreach specialist at Jefferson Memorial Forest; Dashaune Jones, the ECHO Mobileprogram lead at Jefferson Memorial Forest; and Kenyetta Johnson, a program assistant and focus area coordinator for UCC at YouthBuild Louisville. These three have been working tirelessly to provide opportunities for underserved youth to experience the outdoors and much more.

Tune in to the full episode below to learn more about JoCari, Dashaune and Kenyetta and the opportunities they’re creating for underserved youth in Louisville, as well as:

  • What equity in parks and recreation and access to these opportunities means to each of them personally.
  • How the ECHO Mobile program is meeting people where they are and bringing nature to youth who don’t have access to nature.
  • How the ECHO Mobile program has been impacted by COVID-19 and how it has been adapted.
  • How their work is addressing equity and systemic racism in the outdoor recreation space.
  • How park and recreation professionals can champion and foster equity in their communities and increase access to these kinds of opportunities, and more!

Additional Resources:

Listen to the episode for the full story.


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Left to right: Dashaune Jones, JoCari Beattie and Kenyetta Johnson.