At a very young age we become aware that attributes such as color, language, gender, physical ability, sexual orientation, and ethnicity are connected with privilege and power. We learn this by observing differences and similarities among people and by absorbing the spoken and unspoken messages about those differences. Both subtle and overt forms of prejudice and bias have a profound influence on our developing sense of self and others. Understanding that this bias exists and identifying and removing bias from NPS interpretive programs, educational programs and curricula increases the likelihood that youth and adults who visit our sites will have a positive interaction with the resource. This in turn allows greater access, both mentally and physically, to meanings and relevance of our park stories to all current and potential audiences.
Skillfully integrating an understanding and requisite developmental skills in eliminating bias in our programs enhances our ability to uphold the agency mission through active resource stewardship. This competency provides specific considerations to introduce all interpretive park rangers to the biases that would prevent their interpretive and educational contacts from achieving their goals with the widest possible range of audiences. Identifying and removing bias from programs and media enhances interpretation, which in turn allows a broad audience to discover personal relevance and reasons to care for the resource.