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An Ounce of Prevention

Daniel Dustin, Cary McDonald, Brett Wright, Jack Harper, Gene Lamke, James Murphy


The recent social upheaval in the wake of George Floyd’s death is reminiscent of the country’s turmoil in the late 1960s. In response to that social upheaval, President Lyndon Johnson charged what came to be known as the Kerner Commission with investigating the riots’ causes across 20 major American cities and recommending what could be done to prevent their reoccurrence. Among the most prominently mentioned causes of the riots was “inadequate recreation areas and facilities” in impoverished urban areas (National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, 1968, p. 104). In its recommendations, however, the Kerner Commission largely ignored the importance of recreation areas and facilities. Our commentary discusses why that was the case then, and why that should not be the case now.

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Professional purpose; racial injustice; scientific understanding

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