Making The Park More Welcoming: Challenges and Opportunities

Imagine you’d been hired to coach a hockey or soccer camp for the summer, teach music for the Seagle Colony or figure skating at the Olympic Arena, or serve as a waiter, housekeeper, lift attendant or golf pro, as whitewater rafting or fishing guide, or one of the many other jobs that welcome visitors to our region. Imagine that you went with some of your fellow workers to a restaurant, or shopping at a store, and got harassed and verbally abused by another customer because of the color of your skin.

How would you feel if a member of the business’s staff asked you to leave, not the person being abusive, but you – the victim. What would that say about our community? What would that say about how we welcome and care for our customers and seasonal employees?

Such a situation happened twice to Alvin Codner, the athletic director of a summer camp in the Adirondacks this summer. He shared his experience at the opening of the Adirondack Diversity Council’s 2016 Symposium held at the SUNY ESF Adirondack Interpretive Center in Newcomb on Saturday August 13. The only good news is that his employer has lodged a formal complaint against both businesses along with local tourism and government officials. Even so, such inappropriate behavior can profoundly damage our image just as Olympic swimmer Lochte’s crass behavior put the entire U.S, Olympic team and indeed our nation in a bad light. His behavior dominated the media taking away attention from the many noble acts accomplished.

You can read the article in its entirety here.

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