AJ Richard (United States): “Leisure is the freedom to self-actualize”

We welcome AJ Richard, from the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) as WLO member. She looks forward to connecting with fellow researchers who share her interest in leisure as a means for social justice and transformation.

In one sentence: what does leisure mean to you?

Leisure is the freedom to self-actualize.

What leisure projects, research and/or activities are you involved in?

I’m passionately interested in leisure and social justice, leisure as transformation, and developing strategies to overcome barriers and constraints to participation for all people.

How do you promote the development of leisure and leisure studies?

I use social media to increase awareness and empower people with similar leisure passions to connect.

How did you hear about WLO?

I discovered WLO through the research I’ve been reading.

Why did you decide to become a member of WLO?

I’m very interested in the barriers to participation faced by girls and women in baseball. I lived in Canada and traveled to Australia. I’ve found intriguing differences in different countries. I think this can be a great vehicle for increasing our knowledge and understanding of this subject. Some of the best research on topics related to this have come out of Canada and Australia. When we are better connected we are empowered to implement better solutions to challenges.

What kind of synergies would you like to develop through your WLO membership?

I want to connect with other researchers who are interested in social justice, girls and women in baseball, and leisure as transformation.