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Old City Park

Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion Policy

This policy was approved by the Old City Park Executive Board at their meeting on April 11, 2019.


The City of Dallas is made up of people from diverse communities and equity seeking groups defined as ALAANA and LGBTQIA+. Old City Park (OCP) recognizes that the changing nature of the population has implications in terms of delivering and/or providing access to its services, including but not limited to, exhibits, programs and events.

We recognize that barriers to programs exist for members of diverse communities, particularly for equity seeking groups, and we are committed to acting as a positive force in eliminating these barriers. 

To achieve this, Old City Park will:

  • See diversity, inclusion and equity as connected to our mission and critical to ensure the well-being of our staff and the community we serve.
  • Acknowledge and dismantle any inequities within our policies, systems, programs, exhibits and continually update and report organizational progress.
  • Advocate for and support board-level thinking about how systemic inequities impact our organization’s work and how best to address that in a way that is consistent with our mission.
  • Commit time and resources to expand more diverse leadership within our board, staff, committees, and advisory bodies.
  • Lead with respect and tolerance. We expect all employees to embrace this notion and to express it in workplace interactions and through everyday practices.

Old City Park prohibits discrimination or harassment and protects the right to be free from hate activity based on age, ancestry, citizenship, creed (religion), color, disability, ethnic origin, family status, gender identity, level of literacy, marital status, place of origin, membership in a union or staff association, political affiliation, race, receipt of public assistance, sex, sexual orientation or any other personal characteristic by or within the organization.

1 For the purposes of this policy, equity-seeking groups include ALAANA, Aboriginal/First Nations people, women, people with disabilities, racial minorities, the socio-economically disadvantaged, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered persons (LGBTQIA+). 

From the American Alliance of Museums “Facing Change” report.

Diversity is all the ways that people are different and the same at the individual and group levels. Even when people appear the same, they are different. Organizational diversity requires examining and questioning the makeup of a group to ensure that multiple perspectives are represented.

Equity is the fair and just treatment of all members of a community. Equity requires commitment to strategic priorities, resources, respect, and civility, as well as ongoing action and assessment of progress toward achieving specified goals.

Accessibility is giving equitable access to everyone along the continuum of human ability and experience. Accessibility encompasses the broader meanings of compliance and refers to how organizations make space for the characteristics that each person brings.

Inclusion refers to the intentional, ongoing effort to ensure that diverse individuals fully participate in all aspects of organizational work, including decision-making processes. It also refers to the ways that diverse participants are valued as respected members of an organization and/or community. While a truly “inclusive” group is necessarily diverse, a “diverse” group may or may not be “inclusive.”

ALAANA means African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, and Native American. This also includes Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (category as defined by the US Census Bureau). 

LGBTQIA+ means Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual and other associated communities. 


Old City Park is committed to achieving representation of the diversity of the Dallas community on its Board of Directors by ensuring that it has an equitable and transparent nominations process, that this process is communicated to all members, and that members are committed to outreach beyond the current membership if necessary to achieve this goal.

  • The Governance Committee utilizes an open and inclusive process for evaluating, recruiting and selecting nominees to the board of directors.
  • OCP actively seeks candidates from across the community and encourages people from all equity-seeking groups to consider a position on our board of directors.
  • A diversity matrix is utilized to help track current board diversity, as well as help identify needs for future board members. This matrix tracks ethnicity, gender, LGBTQ, age, and expertise.

Old City Park is committed to achieving representation of equity seeking groups on its staff by ensuring that members of equity seeking communities have equitable access to employment. This includes recruitment, selection, staff development, performance evaluation, retention, promotion, termination. 

  • Job postings only include education minimum requirements when relevant to the position.
  • All job postings list the salary range.
  • OCP uses standardized employment interviews to ensure all applicants are treated the same. In addition, all interviews are conducted by at least two people.
  • OCP sets diversity goals when recruiting candidates for employment.

Old City Park is committed to maintaining an environment where all individuals are treated with dignity and respect and are free from all forms of discriminatory treatment, behavior or practice.  Discrimination, harassment, violence, and any other form of discriminatory practices will not be tolerated by OCP.  Discrimination does not have to be intentional.  It can result from practices or policies that appear to be neutral but have a negative effect on groups or individuals based on race, religion, gender, etc.

  • OCP promotes open, effective communication, as well as clear channels for feedback to all employees.
  • OCP has established clear written employment policies and guidelines that address penalties for discriminatory treatment or behavior, harassment, and retaliation.
  • OCP has established a clear process for reporting behaviors that violate these policies.

Old City Park is committed to ensuring that its services and programs are accessible to diverse communities. This involves regular reviews of current outreach, communications, program planning, and exhibits to ensure goals are being met.

  • OCP cross-promotes our programs with organizations serving diverse communities.
  • OCP regularly partners with organizations serving a wide variety of audiences.
  • Permanent exhibits are being reassessed and when necessary, re-interpreted, to better reflect today’s diverse Dallas.

In addition, OCP will take into consideration provision of services to disadvantaged individuals, low income persons, families in poverty, and equity seeking communities. 

  • OCP regularly works with neighborhood social service organizations in a variety of ways, including programming. Key partners include Vogel Alcove, Dallas Life and the Stewpot.
  • OCP works closely with Dallas ISD and other area school districts to provide a cost-effective field trip program. All Title 1 schools receive discounted admission.
  • OCP regularly hosts community meetings, including crime watch, zoning meetings and town halls.
  • OCP offers regular free admission opportunities.

Training and Education 
Old City Park is committed to ensuring that those involved in the delivery of services and programs have the knowledge, understanding and skills to work with and provide services to members of diverse communities, particularly equity seeking communities. 

  • OCP has provided training opportunities for all personnel to ensure their commitment to recognizing and avoiding conscious and unconscious bias towards any and all persons with whom they have contact whether patron, co-worker, subordinate, superior, board member, visitor, contract personnel, volunteer, intern or others.
  • OCP has enacted clear antiharassment, antiretaliation, and antidiscrimination policies with specific remedies and consequences for all staff members or volunteers should the policies be violated.
  • OCP has regular meetings with all staff to discuss interpretation issues, trends in the museum field, and best practices in history education.
  • OCP will create a Diversity and Inclusion Committee consisting of board members, staff, and volunteers.

Information and Communications 
Old City Park is committed to ensuring that all of its communications, including information on its services and programs, are accessible to diverse communities.  



Complainant:  the individual alleging the discriminatory treatment or behavior

Respondent:  the individual against whom the allegation of discrimination is made.

Employee: for the purpose of this policy, the term employee includes employees, volunteers, contractors and consultants working with Old City Park.

Avenues of Complaint
Complaints will be dealt with by the Executive Director.  Where appropriate, the Executive Director will consult with the Chair of the Board of Directors. 

All situations in which the Executive Director has been named in a complaint will be dealt with directly by the Chair of the Board of Directors.

Right to Complain
Individuals have the right to complain about situations they believe to be discriminatory or harassing in nature.

This policy prohibits reprisals against employees because they have complained or have provided information regarding a complaint.  Alleged reprisals are subject to the same complaints procedures and penalties as complaints of discrimination.

Reporting a Complaint
Although individuals may first choose to make a verbal complaint, a written summary of the incident will be required. Complaints should be reported as soon as possible.  If the complaint is delayed beyond three months, the complainant should outline the reason for the delay in reporting the incident(s).
A letter of complaint should contain a brief account of the offensive incident(s), when it occurred, the person(s) involved and the names of witnesses, if any.  The letter should be signed and dated by the complainant.

Within three working days of receiving a complaint, the Executive Director and/or Chair of the Board of Directors must initiate the investigation process.

As soon a possible after receiving the complaint, the Executive Director will notify the individual(s) being named in the complaint.  All individuals named in the complaint have a right to reply to the allegations against them.

Individuals named in the complaint as witnesses will be interviewed.

Settlement and Mediation
With the consent of the complainant and the respondent, the investigator may attempt to mediate a settlement of a complaint at any point prior to or during an investigation.

Every effort will be made to reach a settlement satisfactory to the complainant and the respondent.

All individuals involved with a complaint must ensure the matter remains confidential.

The investigator will release information only on a need-to-know basis.  Whenever possible, investigation reports are presented in a summary format without the names of witnesses.

Findings and Recommendations
Once the investigation is complete, the investigator will prepare a written report summarizing investigation findings. 

Final Decision
The individual(s) who filed the complaint and those named in the complaint have the right to review and comment on the investigation findings with the Executive Director or the Chair of the Board of Directors.

A response to a founded complaint could include remedial action ranging from:

  • requiring the respondent to provide a verbal or written apology
  • giving a verbal or written reprimand with a copy to the respondent’s personnel file
  • dismissal of the respondent

If the findings do not support the complaint, OCP might:

  • make a recommendation for training or better communications; or  
  • recommend that no further action is necessary.

It may be that no action is taken against the respondent, but there might be a need for some management or systemic activity.

A person who is found to have made a frivolous or vexatious complaint may be subject to disciplinary action.

Complaints should be reported within three months of the incident.  If the report is made after three months, an explanation of the delay should accompany the complaint.

Complaints will be dealt with in a timely manner.

When remedial action requires discipline of an employee, a record of the disciplinary action will be placed in an individual’s personnel file.  All other records of the investigation will be kept separate and apart from the personnel file.