Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement
Historic Oak View County Park affirms its commitment our Wake County's long-term investment in serving our community equitably. Guided by Wake County’s Core Values, we believe that our diversity is what makes us strong. We believe that inclusion across race, color, national origin, gender identity, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, and experience is vital to our organization’s success. Equity is at the center of our work. We are committed to strengthening our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) program to positively impact all employees and the communities we serve.
Fourteen enslaved men, women, and children shaped Oak View’s natural and cultural landscape, and African American laborers continued to do so as landless farmers sharecropping and tenant farming after Emancipation. Despite living and laboring under an unfair and unjust system, these individuals impacted Oak View in powerful and fundamental ways. We recognize that racial inequities from the past are reflected in systemic inequities today. In response to historic and present-day inequities, in October 2020 Oak View adopted a Racial Equity & Inclusion Plan. The plan is neither complete nor static; it sets up a living document that will guide and create a system of support as we continually reevaluate our institution, our stated values, and our vision for the future as a just and equitable center for the community.
The vision of Oak View’s Equity & Inclusion Plan: Historic Oak View will be a community-centered park with educational programming and interpretation that invites visitors to explore the historical relationship between farming, land, and freedom, elevating the stories and perspectives of landless farmers. Our park will serve a diverse public as a site for meaningful community engagement, thoughtful and honoring learning and reflection, and healthy recreation – a park for all. We recognize that the work of advancing equity and fostering true inclusion are ongoing and require lifelong learning, constant reflection, and guarantees of institutional accountability.
Commitment Area 1: Conscientious and comprehensive education and interpretation
- Goal 1: Provide culturally competent educational programs that address the history of enslavement and the lives, labor, and legacy of the enslaved and landless farmers at Oak View.
- Goal 2: Commit to providing a purposeful and inclusive interpretation of Oak View’s history in our physical interpretation and exhibits.
Commitment Area 2: Authentic Community Relationships
- Goal 1: Develop and expand sustained community partnerships with organizations making a difference in Southeast Raleigh, with community, education, and collaboration at the heart of our mission.
- Current and past partnerships include:
- District C and Southeast Raleigh High School
- Neighborhood Ecology Corps
- Wake County Register of Deeds Enslaved Persons Project
- Raleigh’s Rolling Readers
- Southeast Raleigh Elementary School
- Wake County Juneteenth Lunch & Learn
- Current and past partnerships include:
- Goal 2: Continue to seek out and develop authentic partnerships with organizations that share our commitment to equity and inclusion.
Commitment Area 3: Communications, Administration, and Accountability
- Goal 1: Expand language access in park services and programs, including print and digital materials.
- Goal 2: Communicate our goals and mission in a way that engages and invites the community to hold us accountable for accomplishing these goals.
- Goal 3: Understand that external actions and changes are superficial if we do not pair them with internal changes that align Oak View with more equitable and inclusive administrative practices. Wake County is committed to Fostering Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity as a Core Value.
We Welcome Feedback
We welcome any comments, ideas, and suggestions. We are also always actively seeking community organizations to partner with. To ask questions, provide feedback, or to request a full version of this plan, please contact Abby Kellerman at Abigail.Kellerman@wake.gov or 919-212-7695.
Historic Oak View County Park welcomes all visitors and affirms its commitment to offering programs and services that are accessible to everyone. We will make every effort to ensure that visitors of all abilities are fully included in all our programs and facilities.
Visitors Who Are Blind or Partially Sighted
Visitors Who Are Deaf
Visitors on the Autism Spectrum
We welcome families with children and adults on the autism spectrum. The following resources will help you plan for an enjoyable visit.
Historic Oak View is a 27-acre site with historic plantation buildings and grounds, with lots of different opportunities to learn about and engage with Wake County’s agricultural heritage. Preparing for your visit a few days beforehand can make for a more manageable and enjoyable experience. The following tips will help in your planning:
- "My Oak View" Visual Schedule: Download, print, and complete the "My Oak View" Visual Schedule before visiting the park. It includes a make-your-own visual checklist with location and communication cards to prepare and plan for your visit.
- "My Oak View" Park Pack: This pack is available to borrow during our regular business hours. Stop by the Farm History Center before you begin your visit to check out the kit, which includes a customizable visual schedule, maps, sensory-seeking toys, noise-reducing headphones, and suggestions for planning a successful visit.
- Noise-reducing head phones and various sensory-seeking toys are available to borrow any time during our operating hours on a first-come, first-served basis. Simply ask a staff member at the front desk of the Farm History Center to borrow them at the start of your visit.
Sensory Tips and Activity Suggestions
- Read our Tips for a Successful Visit.
Visitors of Different Physical Abilities
Historic Oak View County Park is an ADA accessible location. There is a marked accessible parking space in the main parking lot and near each picnic shelter. The parking lots and paved paths leading to picnic shelters and the restrooms meet ADA criteria and there are accessible restrooms in the Farm History Center visitors center and carriage house. The restrooms in the visitors center have automatic faucets and have a two step stool for visitors of short stature and children. The Farm History Center Visitors Center entrance is level and most historic building entrances have ramps. The plank kitchen and tenant house have steps. There is a portable ramp available for the plank kitchen (contact park staff to make available). There is a booklet that explains the second floor of the cotton gin house for visitors with mobility disabilities. A booklet with a print version of the exhibits in the tenant house for visitors with mobility disabilities is available upon request from park staff.