Difficult histories are all around us in our work in the National Park Service and our lives on this planet. I encourage you to check out this new TEDx Talk by Dr. Theresa Coble from University of Missouri – St. Louis, about how to lean into our difficult histories to grieve and to heal.

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  1. Working at a Civil War park, I found this Tedx talk to be really fantastic. Evidence based truth, personal, societal and reconciliatory are all part of the stories in our park. It’s difficult to navigate the divisive topics that come up in our park (especially recently with monuments, flags and rallies) and this seemed to be a great framework to work from.


  2. Working in a Civil War park, I found this Tedx talk to be particularly useful in navigating the difficult issues we face, especially now the ones relevant to current events. Evidence based truth, personal, societal and reconcilitory are all interwoven and can help present a fuller picture of our park while providing ample personal connection opportunities.


  3. Reconciliation as a process of societal grieving – this is a great message. It’s important to acknowledge that different people have different “truths” and perceptions of the past. There are some hard truths all Americans must face about the past, but it’s not about laying blame – it’s about acknowledging the past and moving forward together toward healing. It can be difficult to communicate the divisive stories of our past, but it is essential to face them, and overcome them. Great video!

  4. In this 13-minute video, Dr. Coble discusses how society needs to grieve to reconcile the history of the United States. She defines places of difficult history as places where something happened and there are different and competing notions of what the event means. She does a great job giving an overview and specific examples of different truths: evidence based, personal, societal, and reconciliatory. She also shared her own personal, heart-wrenching story of loss and explained how she was able to use the power of place to help her and her family grieve. Powerful talk!


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