American Express today announced a $100,000 grant to the National Park Foundation’s Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks for Capturing LGBTQ History, a project led by New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (The Center) to chronicle and communicate the robust narrative of the Stonewall uprising to visitors at Stonewall National Monument.
The grant, which is part of the National Park Foundation’s effort to raise $2 million to fund essential projects at the new national park site will provide critical support for the extensive historical research and outreach needed to establish the foundation for interpretive materials and programs for the site.
This grant complements the more than $13 million in funding American Express has provided to park-related causes over the past three years. Funds have been used to preserve sites within national parks, increase volunteerism, and encourage people of all backgrounds to rediscover their parks–particularly in urban areas.
“For more than four decades, American Express has pledged to save and sustain places that exemplify our nation’s rich and diverse history,” said Timothy J. McClimon, president, American Express Foundation. “As the birthplace of the modern LGBTQ civil rights movement, Stonewall represents a struggle fought by millions of Americans. We are proud to help preserve the legacy of this meaningful site for future generations.”
"We’re grateful to American Express for helping the park collect oral histories that will bring the events of Stonewall to life and create a rich visitor experience," said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation. “American Express’ grant highlights the crucial role private support plays in enhancing our national parks and connecting people to the important American stories they share."
“Since our founding, The Center has unwaveringly served, celebrated and empowered the LGBTQ community with a demand for justice and a steadfast commitment to honor the legacy of those who sparked a revolution at Stonewall and proclaimed, ‘enough is enough,’” said Glennda Testone, Executive Director of The Center. “We are proud to help cultivate and share this integral part of American history with generations to come, elevating the voices and preserving the contributions of those who resisted fear, inspired a movement and who remind us to embrace our differences and shared humanity in our march towards equality and justice.”
“The National Park Service is committed to telling stories that reflect all of American history. The struggle for LGBTQ rights, represented through Stonewall National Monument, expands an ongoing narrative about the fight for civil rights and equality under the law,” said Commissioner Joshua Laird of the National Parks of New York Harbor. “I’d like to express our gratitude to American Express for its long-standing support of places connected to our nation’s rich history and to the National Park Foundation for its ongoing commitment to our national parks. This grant will help the National Park Service preserve the story of Stonewall for generations to come.”
Stonewall National Monument honors an important chapter in the country’s civil rights journey–reflecting the diversity of the American experience and the array of historical sites stewarded by the National Park Service.
The events of June 28, 1969, at The Stonewall Inn, located in Greenwich Village in New York City, marked a significant turning point in the fight for LGBTQ rights. At this site, police conducted a raid that had become routine at gay bars, often resulting in harassment and arrests. Unlike previous raids, the crowds held their ground in demanding civil rights and refused to disperse. The protest, which expanded to neighboring streets and into nearby Christopher Park, grew to several thousand people and lasted for six days. Within two years, the uprising inspired citizens across the country to form LGBTQ rights groups in almost every major city.
Today, The Stonewall Inn is recognized as a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service. Designated on June 24, 2016, Stonewall National Monument, located in Christopher Park and part of New York City’s Historic Greenwich Village, sits across the street from The Stonewall Inn and is open to the public. It is one of 417 units of the National Park System.
About American Express
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About the National Park Foundation
The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help PROTECT more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and INSPIRE the next generation of park stewards. In 2016, commemorating the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, the Foundation launched The Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, a comprehensive fundraising campaign to strengthen and enhance the future of these national treasures for the next hundred years. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.
About National Parks of New York Harbor
You may be surprised to learn that there are 12 National Parks and affiliated sites comprising 24 unique destinations in New York City and northern New Jersey. The National Parks of New York Harbor includes nearly 27,000 acres and welcomes more than 18 million visitors each year. The Parks offer year-round programs, recreational opportunities, natural habitats, historic buildings and museum collections. Learn more at nps.gov/npnh.
About The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
Established in 1983, New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center empowers people to lead healthy, successful lives. The Center celebrates diversity and advocates for justice and opportunity. Each year, The Center welcomes more than 300,000 visits to our building in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan from people who engage in our life-changing and life-saving activities. To learn more about our work, please visit gaycenter.org.