Press Release - For Immediate Release
Contact: Heather Weishaar, Communications & Marketing Director
[email protected] 

Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA) Awarded 2021 Power of A Silver Award

La Grange, IL – The Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA) has been named a 2021 Power of A Silver Award winner for IPRA's Safe Zone Conversations program. 

The Power of A Awards recognize and celebrate the extraordinary contributions associations make to society by enriching lives, creating a competitive workforce, preparing society for the future, driving innovation, and making a better world. 

After the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, IPRA’s Diversity Leadership Task Force, leaders from IPRA’s Diversity Section, and IPRA staff began discussions on the need for a program to promote safe and purposeful conversation that might otherwise not take place in the workplace because people are uncertain of how to start the conversation. IPRA Members desired training on how to openly discuss the impact of these events, and how to promote allyship.

A Safe Zone Conversation (SZC) is defined as dialogue amongst a group of people purposely engineered to discuss human topics that can be deemed sensitive, uncomfortable, or complex in nature. It is an environment of mutual respect and inclusivity, a safe place for people to speak their minds. 

‘The Safe Zone Conversations are not means to an end, but rather an ignition for park, recreation, and forest preserve professionals to engage in meaningful conversation about topics that impact professional service delivery and daily life. We are extremely proud of our facilitation teams for their dedication and passion in delivering this wonderful educational opportunity to IPRA members across Illinois.’ – Duane Smith, IPRA’s Education Director

Part of ASAE’s advocacy role is to educate outside audiences about the true value of associations and the resources they bring to bear on our nation’s most pressing problems. ASAE has created The Power of A program as the association industry’s brand and messaging platform from which to communicate the association community’s role in building a stronger America and world. 

Established in 1944, the Illinois Park and Recreation Association’s mission is to provide and promote exceptional standards of education, networking, and resources for all professionals in the Illinois park, recreation, and conservation communities. For more information about IPRA, its board and mission, please visit the IPRA website: