Educating Community Members About Equity and Inclusion

Author and esteemed DEI Facilitator, Hanif Fazal, kicks off our annual equity cohort with a book reading at Park City Library. 

Park City Community Foundation is focused on building a more inclusive community in all aspects of its work. An important part of that work is educating local leaders in the annual equity cohort, facilitated by the Community Foundation staff and the Center for Equity and Inclusion (CEI). Now in its fourth year, the cohort just kicked off with a special book discussion by Hanif Fazal, co-founder of CEI, and author of An Other World: The Fight for Freedom, Joy, and Belonging. 

Hanif’s book is part-memoir part-social commentary as it follows his story of navigating his Indian and Mexican heritage in a predominantly white area of Portland, Oregon. The book takes readers on Hanif’s journey of discovering his identity, finding healing and belonging, and incorporating those lessons into both his exceptional career and fatherhood.  

“I think Hanif is an amazing storyteller and his story has been compelling for so many locals who read the book,” Park City Community Foundation’s Senior Director of Equity and Impact Sarah MacCarthy said. 

In conversation at Park City Library with Hanif were Sarah and the Community Foundation’s Vice President of Equity and Impact Diego Zegarra. In the crowd, Hanif’s 11-year-old daughter and his mother, who were both often referenced in the book, were present. Hanif discussed experiences from his childhood and raising his daughter to have a strong understanding of race. 

An Other World invites consideration for a different way to approach equity and inclusion work with folks of color playing a role that historically they haven’t,” Diego said.  

In 2018 the Community Foundation also worked closely with Park City Municipal to create a strategic plan to address the inequities within the community and realized the place to start was collective learning. This led them on the journey to discovering CEI and Hanif.  

“We peripherally understood injustice and inequities, but it was our partnership with the Center for Equity and Inclusion that truly allowed us to grapple with it in a whole different way and start operationalizing it both for Park City Community Foundation and Summit County,” Diego said. 

The Community Foundation’s goal with this work has been to address the social and economic disparities in Park City. When people who are most impacted by inequitable systems and situations have access to opportunities and a seat at the decision-making tables, all community members are uplifted. 

Hanif’s first time out to Park City to work with the Community Foundation was to run the 2019 annual nonprofit workshop, where he mentioned his team at CEI had a weekly meeting to discuss race, which the Community Foundation has since adopted.  

“I had been living basically in a bubble for my entire life,” Sarah said. “And I just learned so much about race, about equity, and about how to build more inclusive spaces.”  

This year’s Equity Advancement Cohort brings together leaders from local government, nonprofit sector, and private sector to dive deep into conversations about inclusion and belonging. It starts with a two-and-a-half-day training led by the Center for Equity & Inclusion staff, including Hanif Fazal, and continues throughout the year with five additional workshops. Nearly 40 participants will learn about tools to apply further diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts within their organizations. 

Many thanks to Vail Resorts Epic Promise for sponsoring this year’s cohort. If you are interested in being part of future cohorts, please contact Sarah MacCarthy at and make sure to read or listen to An Other World, and learn more about the Community Foundation’s commitment to equity and inclusion.

The 2024 Equity Cohort, led by Park City Community Foundation and Center for Equity and Inclusion, gather for a group photo.


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