As I came into the Department of the Interior it became clear to me that there was still a tremendous amount of work for us to be doing with respect to the heritage of all Americans.
Addressing that heritage, especially the heritage and contributions of women, was the focus of a spirited town hall March 27th in Baltimore. Secretary Salazar was joined by Maryland's First Lady Judge Katie O'Malley and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who thanked the Secretary for his ongoing efforts.
Be it the history and the contributions of African-Americans, Latina Americans, American Latinos, or American women heritage, you have made telling the story of all of American people important.
So far telling that story hasn't been a story of equal opportunity. Women make up more than half the population but less than 8 percent of National Park Service sites are dedicated to women, or female achievement. One reason behind this town hall… the Secretary's renewed outreach to make all that a thing of the past. The National Park Service's Northeast Region is already working to help interpret women's history with the National Collaborative for Women's History sites. Today's announcement means the Department of the Interior is acting to extend that agreement nationwide.
What we ought to do, we ought to have a dialogue about how we ought to make sure that we tell the story of the contributions of women across America in a much more thorough and a much more thoughtful way…how we can develop the information that is needed to really be able to tell the story of American women as part of the tapestry of American history.
It's about every woman. It's about mothers. It's about teachers. It's about nurses. It's about workers...factory workers. Women's role in this country…it is hard to tell it in just one story.