NRPA Offers Strategies for Inclusive Instructor Recruitment in Park and Recreation Programs

By Natalia Ospina | Posted on February 5, 2024

New Resource Diversify Recruitment 410

While many park and recreation professionals are making progress toward centering equity and inclusion within programming, operations, practice and environments, staff representation is a largely overlooked aspect of program implementation. 

NRPA’s Healthy Aging Team has developed a resource, “Representation Matters: Strategies to Diversify Instructor Recruitment,” with eight strategies agencies can use to diversify instructor recruitment. These strategies include:  

1. Agency Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Ensuring your agency’s commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion is reflected in your mission and values. 

2. Assess Current Instructor Diversity: Assessing instructor demographics. 

3. Recruitment Plan: Engaging ambassadors, identifying key messages, creating recruitment materials and setting up goals for outreach. 

4. Collaborate with Partners: Building trusting relationships with historically underrepresented community members and organizations. 

5. Allocate Funding: Allotting budget funds that support diversifying instructor recruitment. 

6. Translate Materials: Ensuring materials are available in the language the instructor is most proficient in. 

7. Focus of Retention of Staff: Using strategies to acknowledge staff for their contributions and maintain motivation. 

8. Provide Training to Staff: Ensuring staff receive training on honoring community diversity.  

Access the Full Resource

Having a diverse instructor workforce not only allows instructors to connect with each other but also allows teachers to collaborate and learn from one another to benefit the students they serve. We recognize that when park and recreation professionals bring their unique skills, assets and experiences to their work and when the concept of inclusion goes beyond ability and access and focuses on how, where and which people are included, health outcomes will improve. 

If you have any questions regarding healthy aging or this resource, please contact

Natalia Ospina (she/her) is a senior program manager at NRPA.