Critique of the need to bring diversity to the Park Service

diversity to the Park ServiceFrom time to time we’ve written about the need for and attempts by the National Parks Service to engage America’s communities of color. This month, one of the thinkers we follow offered a thoughtful counterpoint on this topic. In this article from Grist, Brentin Mock connects the current efforts of the NPS to the longer struggle for civil rights and justice. Speaking about specific efforts made within the service that his readers have brought to his attention, Mock says:

Many of these were unique, innovative, sometimes heroic efforts and I wish I had the bandwidth to write about all of the worthwhile causes. But after each example I read about, I couldn’t help but feel that there was something missing from these efforts. It’s not that they are irrelevant. But while almost all of them are great as conversation starters around diversity, the onus, quite frankly, should not be on people of color to find ways to “reconnect” with nature. The onus really should be on those powers and structures that have aided and abetted the exclusion of people of color to own up to those racial wrongs and then learn from the excluded how to correct that.

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