Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

National Heritage Areas – Statement on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

  • We celebrate our nation’s diverse heritage.
  • We create experiences that stimulate cultural equity.
  • We empower inclusive communities to tell their stories.

The Alliance of National Heritage Areas is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our membership organization of Congressionally-designated National Heritage Areas and partner-affiliated organizations works collectively to protect and promote diverse people and places that tell America’s stories equitably and inclusively.

We define diversity as meaningful representation of different groups in cultural heritage development, included but not limited to race, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical/mental ability, ethnicity, geography, and perspective.

We define equity as policies and practices that help communities gain access to opportunity, networks, and resources toward reaching their full cultural heritage development potential.

We define inclusion as authentic engagement of diverse groups in cultural heritage development, providing all community members with a genuine sense of belonging.

We are the Heart & Soul of America.
We are the Alliance of National Heritage Areas.


Housatonic Heritage – DRAFT Statement on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

The Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area (Housatonic Heritage) vigorously denounces any form of racism, or any action that demeans, oppresses, or marginalizes any population, and unequivocally condemns the use of violence as a means of oppression or law enforcement.  The Board of Trustees resolves to identify and speak out against any instances of discrimination when so encountered in the implementation of it programs, and to immediately seek to a) rectify the offending action, or b) discontinue any association with that program.

We commit to interpreting and presenting those ignored, lost or misrepresented stories of our region’s collective history, regardless of the pain or discomfort that results from what those stories may reveal about ourselves.  We commit to the thoughtful and informed exploration and open dialogue of all our histories, without regard to race, religion, sexual orientation, nation of origin or system of beliefs.

Housatonic Heritage commits to further development of interpretive programs that demonstrate a thoughtful and rigorous examination of the histories that brought us here–through stories that have been forgotten, ignored or that misrepresent what took place.

To this end, Housatonic Heritage reaffirms its commitment to the region’s African American, Native American and Latino communities through programs such as African American Heritage Trail, Clinton Church Restoration, Native American Heritage Trail and Oral History Center, and to explore new educational and inspirational programming in support of these communities.

We commit to the ongoing development of the Native American Heritage Trail to provide a researched and documented approach that interprets the struggle of indigenous peoples in the age of rapid colonialization of the region.

Housatonic Heritage reaffirms its commitment to inclusivity of all persons who wish to preserve and celebrate our collective heritage with fairness and respect, and to diverse representation in its governance and decision-making processes.

We know that we can do better. Housatonic Heritage, through its programming, has not yet recognized the struggles and achievements of Latino, LGBTQ and Native American communities with the attention it deserves, and invites others to help.

To that end, we affirm our commitment to creating a Diversity Advisory Committee that is truly reflective of the diverse community of the Upper Housatonic River Valley, who may observe and advise on the actions of the Board of Trustees.

For more information about Housatonic Heritage’s current programming: