Defining IDEA for Balboa PArk

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility

The Parkwide IDEA Working Group collectively defined inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility to ensure cohesion throughout the Park when discussing IDEA. These definitions provide us a shared language and understanding of IDEA and how we build IDEA into the DNA of our organizations and programs. This document is a living document and will be updated periodically to reflect new understanding, ideas, and growth. 

INCLUSION -  Inclusion is not a natural consequence of having a “diverse” group represented. It is an intentional active effort to design, invite, celebrate, and give space to diverse participation in all aspects of the organization’s work, including decision-making. It ensures equitable access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized to enhance the quality of the human experience and empower each other. To be inclusive means that people are valued and respected for their whole selves and that they do not have to diminish their differences in order to belong. 

DIVERSITY - Intentional and meaningful composition of all people that considers intersectional identities which are composed of personal lived experiences in culture, background, demographics, psychographics, disabilities, and more. This requires us to consider an array of perspectives and ideas, and to constantly examine and question the make-up of voices to ensure diverse perspectives are represented and that power is shared. We must also understand that people are not a monolith - race, gender, age, class, sexual orientation, and other individual characteristics impact how people are viewed, understood, and treated. Diversity is relational and is measured based on the collective whole. 

EQUITY - Equity is not synonymous with equality. Equity addresses imbalanced social structures and acknowledges that every person has different needs, lived experiences, and opportunities and ensures all people receive the resources they need to be successful. This practice includes dismantling barriers within our social systems to build internal and external practices of anti-racism and allows us to redistribute power. Equity is built into the design of systems and processes that work to uphold the goals and actions of inclusion and diversity. 

ACCESSIBILITY - Accessibility refers to the physical, mental, and social barriers to participation which are equally important to address when creating welcoming and inclusive environments for all people regardless of their disability or lived experience. We must consider and go beyond “compliance” to acknowledge and find solutions for those barriers including socioeconomic, education history, race and culture, and physical and mental disabilities. The practice of accessibility happens when different voices are included in the decision-making process and encourages us to build accessible spaces that benefit not just some, but all.

The Parkwide IDEA Working Group is happy to share these definitions with Balboa Park organizations. Organizations may choose to adopt these definitions as is or reasonable edits to better fit your organization culture and focus areas. We only ask that the Parkwide IDEA Working Group is credited on the document as a reference. Thank you. 
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Definitions were written, reviewed, and approved by the Parkwide IDEA Working Group on July 15, 2021. The Parkwide IDEA Working Groups includes representatives from: Fleet Science Center, Institute of Contemporary Art, San Diego, Japanese Friendship Garden, Mingei International Museum, Museum of Photographic Arts, Museum of Us, San Diego History Center, San Diego Model Railroad Museum, San Diego Natural History Museum, and The San Diego Museum of Art.