By Catherine W. Zipf
Last month, the Center for American Progress (CAP) released a report assessing diversity at our national parks and monuments. The report studied sites managed by the federal government (the NPS, the BLM, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service). The study did not include properties listed on the National Register or those in the National Landmarks program.
The statistics regarding women and their history are shocking. Only eight out of 460 national parks, monuments and sites are dedicated to women’s history. That’s 1.7 percent. The numbers for African-Americans, Latinos and Asian-Americans are equally low (5.6 percent, 4 percent and .4 percent respectively). There are no national park sites dedicated to LGBT history.
This is not a “so what” issue. National parks, monuments and sites are those that best represent our country, our history and our people. Other cultures judge us by them. We value them so much that we use federal dollars for their preservation, maintenance and interpretation. A lack of diversity within these sites is a major problem.... Read More →