Americans of African, Asian and Hispanic descent spent $181.7 billion on domestic leisure travel in 2010, according to the American Hotel and Lodging Association. The fact that precious few of those dollars were spent in our world-class national parks co-relates with the National Park Service’s 2011 survey in which these ethnic groups report a lack of familiarity with what the national parks offer, where they are, what to do there and some anxiety about whether they’d be welcome.
As the recently-appointed chair of NPPC ‘s Diversity Committee, Audrey Peterman aims to connect the organization’s leaders and members to their counterparts in communities of color, by inviting members from both sectors to serve on the committee. Drawing on the national network of racially diverse, experienced travel professionals; hikers; climbers; skiers; scuba divers; birders, sailors, scholars and others, the committee will help NPPC optimize its response to the Park Service’s Call to Action by connecting the younger, demographically diverse segment of the population they serve with NPPC.
“Many of us look forward to the day when people in urban communities radiate with joy from their relationship with nature and our national parks; when everyone in our country knows how much our ancestors went through to create these United States, and feels that they have a responsibility to protect our public lands and pass them on intact to future generations. I learned these lessons in our National Park System (I’m up to 170 now!) and I’m eager to help broaden the constituency that feels equally passionate about them,” raves Peterman. “The Diversity Committee is poised to help NPPC accomplish that.”
To contact Audrey Peterman: