Education Highlights

August 19, 2021, Feature, by NRPA

2021 September Conference Education Highlights 410

For an enhanced digital experience, read this story in the ezine.

With more than 80 education sessions, 20 speed sessions and 20 NRPA Research sessions presented by top speakers both inside and outside of the park and recreation field, you are sure to leave the 2021 NRPA Annual Conference inspired. Below are just a few of the education sessions that will be offered during the conference.

Mental Health First Aid: An Overview Look of Today’s Emerging Mental Health Concerns

An estimated one out of every five people will experience a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year. Recognizing a mental health problem and knowing how to address it are invaluable skills. This training will help you identify and understand signs and symptoms of individuals who may be dealing with issues, such as depression, anxiety, substance use, trauma, psychosis and deliberate self-injury. Attendees also will learn how to respond in a mental health crisis, offer support to someone who appears to be in emotional distress, and, if necessary, guide the person to appropriate services.

Speakers: Craig Harley, Deborah Millar
Track: Health and Wellness
Delivery Format: Nashville in person

Community Outreach and Engagement With an Equity Lens

During the time of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Metro Parks Tacoma (Washington) Outreach and Engagement Team has been identifying barriers, challenges and opportunities for a transparent, equitable and genuine engagement approach within communities. Learn strategies to shift organizational culture, policies and procedures; change methodology for delivery of service; and develop best practices with an anti-racist lens to better serve marginalized communities.

Speakers: Courtney Acoff, Delia Flores, Abigail Vizcarra Perez
Track: Equity and Inclusion
Delivery Format: Nashville in person

Parks as Critical Infrastructure: How to Quantify and Message Their Equity, Health, Climate and Economic Benefits

There is growing awareness of the structural inequities in our communities. We now know that parks serving non-white populations are, on average, half the size of parks in white neighborhoods, yet serve five times as many people. Similarly, low-income, non-white neighborhoods are disproportionately vulnerable to flooding and extreme heat because they lack adequate green space. To change this, we must transform the public’s perception of parks as nice-to-have amenities to must-have infrastructure. Using case studies from around the country, presenters will share how to effectively communicate the benefits of parks, attract advocates and build support. They will share examples of how parks generate significant benefits, new research that quantifies carbon capture, and resources that position green infrastructure in parks as a multi-benefit community solution. Attendees will learn how to advocate for parks as critical solutions to the most pressing challenges facing our communities.

Speakers: Taj Schottland, Sean Terry, Ayanna Williams
Track: Conservation
Delivery Format: Virtual stream, virtual on-demand

Did COVID-19 Kill Cost Recovery?

How do agencies with high-cost recovery mandates succeed in a post-pandemic world? We will review the immediate impacts of COVID-19 on a two-time National Gold Medal agency, which has historically achieved 100 percent cost recovery on its community center and programming. We also will explore the strategies being implemented to reimagine our revenue operations for a sustainable future. Come prepared to share how your agency is pivoting to generate income in this new era.

Speaker: Michael Klitzing
Track: Revenue Development
Delivery Format: Nashville in person, virtual live stream, virtual on-demand

Next Practices for the Post-Pandemic 2020s

As we start thinking about what a post-pandemic world may look like in the future, this session will help attendees think of next practices they want to shape to design an inclusive, welcoming and financially/environmentally sustainable park and recreation agency. In these increasingly unpredictable times with changing demographics and technologies, this session also will share insights for how to build an agency culture and mindset that can innovate and thrive in chaos and embrace change as park and recreation agencies look to continue playing the role of essential components that sustain the community’s very fabric and way of life.

Speakers: Neelay Bhatt, Leon Younger
Track: Leadership and Personnel Management
Delivery Format: Virtual stream, virtual on-demand

Lean in! Navigating and Eliminating Imposter Syndrome

Do you ever wonder if co-workers think you don’t belong and question how you got your position? Do you believe you lack credibility? Do you look at potential jobs and feel like you aren’t qualified even though, on paper, you clearly are? If so, you may have Imposter Syndrome — a natural thought process where you may have feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt or intellectual fraudulence. Studies have found that an estimated 70 percent of people have experienced these feelings at some point in their careers. Minorities and women are the most at risk — because the less you are surrounded by people who look or sound like you, the less confident you may feel — which may make you question your place and your abilities. This talk will help you recognize those feelings, invalidate them when they falsely occur, and re-frame your narrative. Your uniqueness is an asset to your agency — capitalize on that and lean in so you can silence those negative thoughts and move forward in your career.

Speaker:  Jai Cole
Track:  Career Development
Delivery Format:  Nashville in person, virtual live stream, virtual on-demand 

For a complete list of the education sessions visit the 2021 NRPA Annual Conference website.