For Immediate Release
Heather Weishaar
[email protected]

Oak Brook Park District Recognized for Diversity and Inclusion Efforts


La Grange IL, January 2022 – On January 28, 2022, the Illinois Park & Recreation Association (IPRA) awarded the Oak Brook Park District with the Champions for Change Award, honoring their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Oak Brook Park District was recognized during the IPRA Awards Program at the IAPD/IPRA Soaring to New Heights Conference held at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

IPRA Champions for Change Award: Oak Brook Park District

The IPRA Champions for Change Award recognizes agencies with unique and exemplary practices of increasing access and fostering diversity and inclusion within their community or organization. These are measurable practices that improve the working experience and engagement levels of employees and/or the lives of all people within the community through the delivery of excellent services that improve social equity and access in the community.

The Oak Brook Park District implemented several DEI-related services, trainings, and programs for both staff and the Oak Brook community. The park district staff took part in a virtual “team-building” discussion which included a Safe Zone Conversation on Racism, planned inclusive monthly celebrations throughout 2021, and discussed the movie “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. The training, hosted by IPRA, and the fruitful discussions that took place during and after the event, supported staff’s commitment to internal and external DEI initiatives. 

As staff immersed themselves in learning about and implementing DEI, these practices were simultaneously shared with patrons utilizing park district facilities, programs, and special events. Monthly celebrations included: Black History Month (February), Women’s History Month (March), Autism Awareness (April), Pride Month (June), Cultural Month (August), and the park district celebrated multiple cultural and religious Holiday Traditions during the month of December. 

The Oak Brook Park District and their DEI Committee are looking forward to continuing inclusive practices that make all feel welcome and aid in actualizing our mission: to provide the very best in park and recreational opportunities, facilities, and open lands for our community. 
‘I am inspired by the leadership and progress of IPRA’s Champion of Change Award winner – Oak Brook Park District. I congratulate them on receiving this award and for their commitment to inclusivity.’ – Barbara Arango, CAE, IPRA Executive Director

A complete list of IPRA Award winners is available on the IPRA website,

Established in 1944, the Illinois Park & Recreation Association (IPRA) serves nearly 2,500 park, recreation, and conservation professionals throughout the state, and is a national leader in providing premier education, networking, and resources. For more information about IPRA, its board and mission, please visit the IPRA website: