Celebrating a Lasting Pride in Your Parks

June 1, 2018Danielle BridgesNPF Blog
— National Park Service

Everyone loves a countdown. The crowds waiting for the final moment in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, hordes of hat-adorned visitors hoping for a glimpse of a royal wedding, your impatient stomach standing before the microwave’s timer as your pizza rolls cook, and a band called Europe in 1986.

June is Pride Month, and while Stonewall National Monument shares the unforgettable story of the 1969 riots year-round, this year kicks off a special countdown to World Pride in 2019. This annual event, which will be hosted by New York City in 2019, is the largest global Pride celebration. It will mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and its pivotal role as the birthplace of the modern lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer civil rights movement.

One of America’s newest national parks, Stonewall National Monument is less than one acre and has a mighty story that spans across the globe and touches people of every background — a place where LGBTQ history is American history.

Since the park’s designation in 2016, the National Park Foundation has been working in partnership with the National Park Service and local community organizations to develop programs and initiatives that welcome visitors from all walks of life to the park.

The iron gates into Christopher Park as part of the Stonewall National Monument

Christopher Park

Beyond My Ken/Wikimedia

This summer, the park is piloting education programs for local New York City students that focus on anti-bullying, civil rights, and activism. The park has also hosted a series of community listening sessions to gather feedback from a diversity of voices, including activists, scholars, and members of the LGBTQ community, that will help shape storytelling at the park.

Thanks to the support of the National Park Foundation and its proud supporters, the park, its partners, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and the Columbia University School of Journalism have undertaken a large-scale oral history collection project to bring the voices of the LGBTQ civil rights movement to today's park visitors.

The oral history experience is slated to debut in time for World Pride 2019 when the park will be visited by the millions celebrating in New York City. People from around the world will be able to hear the voices and stories of those who helped turn the moment of the Stonewall Uprising into a movement for equality.

Group of people standing in front of Stonewall Inn celebrating the designation of Stonewall National Monument in New York City
Rhododendrites/Wikimedia

Our countdown culminates in the June 2019 celebration, but we're already starting the party! Here's how you can join us:

  • Visit Stonewall National Monument and tag your photos using #FindYourPark/#EncuentraTuParque to share how you're celebrating Pride this year
  • Join the National Park Foundation's crowdfunding campaign; create your own page or start a team with your friends to support the park
  • Help the National Park Service understand why the experiences and meanings of Stonewall are so important to you
  • Plan your trip to New York City to celebrate #Stonewall50 and #WorldPride next year, and be sure to also visit the city’s ten other parks like Hamilton Grange National Memorial and Federal Hall National Memorial

Each park tells its own unique piece of American history. Learn more about this urban national park to discover a more recent chapter of our country’s past and its movement toward greater LGBTQ civil rights. Then share your experience with others and encourage them to take their own #FindYourPark / #EncuentraTuParque adventure to explore our cultural and natural treasures.

Comments

I saw a I heart Parks button with a rainbow heart at Pride this year. I work for a local parks and rec department and I would love to have one. Is there a shop or something where I can purchase one?
Jason
Shriner
Hi Jason--if you send an email to us at [email protected], we can try to help you out. Thanks!
NPF
Staff

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