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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access

Bicycling at William B. Umstead State Park
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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access

The N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation supports a work environment that fosters respect and values all people regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression, or National Guard status. We are committed to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA) and want to see this value infused in all areas of the state parks system.


  • Diversity is understanding that everyone is unique and that we must recognize our individual differences and similarities. It encompasses acceptance and respect while embracing various backgrounds, professional experience, skills and specialization, values and culture, and socioeconomic status.
  • Equity refers to the qualities of justness, fairness, impartiality and even-handedness. This involves factoring in aspects of the system that have put particular groups at a disadvantage. Equity is inclusive equality.
  • Inclusion is acknowledging, welcoming, respecting, supporting and valuing the authentic participation of any individual or group. It is creating an environment that engages multiple perspectives, differing ideas, and individuals from different backgrounds while providing a sense of belonging.
  • Access: Access for All, as well as the acknowledgment that for it all to work cohesively, we must integrate access. Integration not only acknowledges the variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds, but it accepts, encourages, and thrives in it.


Desired outcomes

  • Create and sustain an inclusive culture
  • Build a diverse workforce
  • Strengthen community relationships with minority communities through education and access
  • Integrate diversity and inclusion in business partnerships
  • Retain and develop top diverse talent


Employment opportunities at North Carolina State Parks

  • All permanent job listings are posted through the North Carolina Office of State Human Resources Online Job Application System.
  • Looking for employment? Set up Job Alerts through the Online Job Application System to receive notifications for job opportunities that match your job categories of interest.


North Carolina State Parks: Career Opportunities Seminars

Every quarter, N.C. State Parks hosts career opportunities seminars, geared towards students and alumni of relevant degree programs to include Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Find more information about the next seminar or view the recording below from the first seminar that was hosted on October 22, 2020:


Celebrating Black History Month

NC State Parks Celebrates Black History Month slider


UNC-TV: The Hammocks

This historical documentary combines stunning natural history cinematography and the compelling historical events that led to the creation of Hammocks Beach State Park. Beginning with an unlikely turn of the century friendship between a wealthy white neurosurgeon and a Black outdoorsman. Together they managed to protect and preserve thousands of acres of pristine coastline, forests, and estuaries. Aired February 15, 2018.


The Third North Carolina Regiment

NCpedia article on the all-Black regiment that was first stationed at Fort Macon »


Dwayne Patterson: The First Black Director of N.C. State Parks

DNCR Press Release: Dwayne Patterson Named Director of N.C. State Parks, June 27, 2018 »


Ask a Ranger podcast on the segregated history of William B. Umstead State Park

Reedy Creek State Park; A Personal History of Segregation


Snapshots from the NC State Parks archives:

Families picnicking at Jones Lake State Park, circa 1950. Photo from the North Carolina State Parks archives.
Families enjoy a picnic at Jones Lake State Park,
circa 1950. Jones Lake State Park opened
as a state park for African Americans in 1939
and was the only state park open to them
for several years.


A Boy Scout troop exploring Reedy Creek at what is now William B. Umstead State Park, circa 1945. Photo from the North Carolina State Parks archives.
A troop of Boy Scouts explores Reedy Creek,
circa 1945. The park that is now William B.
Umstead State Park was split into two during
the segregation era, with the Reedy Creek
State Park open to African Americans.


Lifeguards at Jones Lake State Park, circa 1950. Photo from the North Carolina State Parks archives.
Seasonal lifeguards working at Jones Lake State Park, circa 1950.
During the segregation era, park employees were segregated as well,
with parks like Jones Lake staffed entirely by African Americans,
who were not allowed to work at other parks designated for white people.
C. Payne Lucas and his wife strolling at Hammocks Beach, circa 1961. Photo from the North Carolina State Parks archives.
C. Payne Lucas and his wife Freddie take
a stroll along the beach at Hammocks Beach
State Park, circa 1961. Mr. Lucas was born
in Spring Hope, N.C., and helped found
the international nonprofit
organization Africare.
Marius Bennett, a former enslaved person at Somerset Place, circa 1941. Photo from the North Carolina State Parks archives.
Marius Bennett, pictured circa 1941,
was one of the hundreds of enslaved persons
who worked at Somerset Place during the
slavery era. Portions of this vast plantation
are now part of Pettigrew State Park,
while the plantation house is preserved
at the adjacent state historic site.
Cover of North Carolina Teachers record from 1952. Photo from the North Carolina State Parks archives.
An image of the cover of North Carolina Teachers Record,
dated March 1952, which was a magazine of the North Carolina
Teachers Association, the statewide organization for
African American educators during the segregation era.
The cover story is about the opening of Hammocks Beach
that May as the third state park for African Americans,
and the cover photo is from Jones Lake.



Additional Resources

For persons with disabilities:


For persons of Hispanic heritage:


For persons of Native American heritage:


For veterans:


Contact information

Rodney Lovett
Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator
North Carolina State Parks
phone: 919-707-9374
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