Salazar’s Visit to Central Valley Labor Landmark on President’s Day Highlights Need for New Park Site Honoring Cesar Chavez

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   February 18, 2011
Contact:   Emily Schrepf, National Parks Conservation Association, Cell phone: 559-960-7056


Salazar’s Visit to Central Valley Labor Landmark on President’s Day Highlights Need for New Park Site Honoring Cesar Chavez

Statement by NPCA Central Valley Program Manager Emily Schrepf

BACKGROUND: This Monday, Feb. 21, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis will visit the Forty Acres National Historic Landmark as part of the America’s Great Outdoors initiative. The America’s Great Outdoors report specifically calls for the National Park Service to identify key natural areas and cultural themes underrepresented in the National Park System. The Forty Acres site represents a historic culmination of farmworkers’ efforts to establish their own union. It is also the site where Cesar Chavez fasted for 25 days to rededicate the movement to nonviolence.

In 2008, a bill, supported by NPCA, authorizing the Secretary of Interior to study sites that honor the life of Cesar Chavez for possible inclusion in the National Park System was passed, and that study is currently underway. This historic landmark is a cultural site that could ultimately become part of the National Park System.

STATEMENT: “As our national parks approach their centennial, we are glad to see the Administration recognizing the need for identifying and including stories in our park system that are not currently being told.

“The America’s Great Outdoors initiative provides a terrific opportunity for considering which cultural themes might be underrepresented in our parks. As our country evolves, there will continue to be sites of historic and cultural significance that need to be added to the National Park System, if it is to fulfill its mandate of reflecting America's diverse stories.

“The National Park Service is one of the largest curators of Asian, Latino, Indian and African American history and culture, yet not one of the 394 units in the National Park System honors the legacy of an individual contemporary Latino.

“A site commemorating labor rights activist Cesar E. Chavez, who succeeded in securing better conditions for California’s migrant farm laborers, is a first step toward reflecting our diverse cultural heritage. The National Parks Conservation Association is advocating for the inclusion of additional cultural sites that focus on untold stories such as the historic trail of the Buffalo Soldiers and Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman.

“We look forward to working with local partners and the Administration to ensure our stories are told for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.”

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To view a full copy of the America's Great Outdoors report, please click here

Details of the event at Delano can be found here.

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