African American Studies | Civic and Community Engagement | Civil Rights and Discrimination | Health and Physical Education | Kinesiology | Leisure Studies | Other Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Policy History, Theory, and Methods | Politics and Social Change | Public Administration | Public Health | Race and Ethnicity | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration | Social Policy | Sports Management | Sports Sciences | Sports Studies | Tourism and Travel


Historically, swimming pools have been a source of inequity when it comes to the distribution of recreation services in the United States. Many of the problems that correlate with the inequitable allocation of recreation resources including public swimming pools began with ideas about race, geography, poor planning practices and faulty policymaking (Rothstein, 2017). Moreover, one of the primary outcomes of engaged, inclusive planning is equity in the provision of recreation programs and facilities. In this essay, we offer a summary of key legal cases that help address questions related resource allocation related to public swimming pools. Finally, we present a short case study on the Winston Water Works Project in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This case illustrates the power of grassroots level advocacy, engaged community planning, and policymaking that protects the recreation infrastructure in a community and moves the needle of social justice toward equity. Our principle interest in this paper is in the equitable provision and distribution of aquatics programming and facilities.