On Friday May, 30th Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced the launch of a National Park Service theme study designed to recognize places and events associated with the civil rights struggle of LGBT Americans. The theme study is a part of a larger initiative under the Obama Administration which aims to ensure that the National Park Service portrays all stories that are a crucial part of building our nation. Sally Jewell, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior who led the announcement was joined by Corey Johnson, District 3, New York City Councilmember and Tim Gill, Founder of the Gill Foundation and many others in front of the historic Stonewall Inn. The study will launch next month.
“We know that there are other sites, like Stonewall Inn, that have played important roles in our nation’s ongoing struggle for civil rights,” said Jewell. “The contributions of women, minorities and members of the LGBT community have been historically underrepresented in the National Park Service, and the LGBT theme study will help ensure that we understand, commemorate and share these key chapters in our nation’s complex and diverse history.”
“The National Park Service is America’s storyteller and protector of the places where America’s history can be found,” National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said. “As we prepare to celebrate the National Park Service’s Centennial in 2016, we have rededicated ourselves to sharing more diverse stories of our nation’s history, particularly the struggles for civil rights. By telling these stories, we are inviting new audiences to visit their national parks and historic sites and to discover a personal connection in these special places.”
“LGBT history is American history,” said Gill Foundation founder Tim Gill, who contribued to the formation of the theme study. “The contributions of LGBT people are part of the great American journey toward full equality, freedom and liberty for all our citizens. While we take this important step to recognize the courageous contributions of LGBT Americans, we need to unite together in the days ahead to ensure we leave none of our fellow Americans behind.”
Check out the photos below.