Relevancy, Diversity, and Inclusion Discussion Guides

Over the past few years, three discussion guides were developed to address events and commemorations in the NPS. The guides don’t just offer ideas for interpretation and engagement, they offer techniques and questions for coping with and confronting the tough stuff of history. Use them as an individual and as a team to facilitate internal conversations about current eventsrace and protest, and the diverse stories our sites preserve. 

As interpreters and educators, you advance the national dialogue and provide needed context to national park landscapes across the service. But those landscapes are not static. They’re connected to the broader culture we live in every day. That is where they draw their relevance.

These discussion guides are designed to help you open lines of discussion with visitors, explore new perspectives, invite mutual learning, and potentially evolve collective meaning. Please work with your supervisor to assess your safety and readiness to open dialogue during visitor interactions.

400 Years Discussing Slavery, Freedom, & Race in America

This discussion guide was created by interpreters, for interpreters. It was designed to provide information about how to approach dialogue surrounding the history of slavery, freedom, and race in America. This guide was created to help interpreters generate ideas and options for how to have deep conversations around race with your park’s visitors. The example dialogic questions in this guide will help you craft your own experiences.


Confederate Monuments & Memorials – Discussion Guide

WASO’s Office of Interpretation, Education, and Volunteers has created a discussion guide that addresses national talking points on Confederate monuments and memorials. To help parks answer visitor questions about Confederate monuments and the role of the National Park Service in conversations around these monuments, this guide provides context and resources for further exploration.


Removal of the Confederate Flag from National Park Sites
A Guide for National Park Service Staff

Following the tragic mass shooting that occurred in Charleston, South Carolina many questions arose over the display and sale of stand-alone Confederate flags at National Park Service sites. On June 24, 2015 Director Jarvis issued a memorandum to Regional Directors, Associate and Assistant Directors and National Park Service Cooperating Associations, Partners, and Concessionaires requesting that they voluntarily withdraw items that depict a Confederate Flag as a stand-alone feature, especially items that are wearable and displayable. In addition, the memo noted that Confederate flags should not be flown in units of the National Park System and related sites, except where the flag would provide historical context.


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