Yosemite Ranger Tells Untold Story of African Americans in National Parks


For Shelton Johnson, positive social change happens one essential story at a time.

The 33-year veteran of the National Park Service and Yosemite’s newest cultural outreach ranger was just promoted to Community Engagement Specialist. Tasked with increasing relevancy, diversity and inclusion in the park, Johnson describes his role as helping to forge and deepen “lasting connections between all communities of color and our national parks.” He notes how that connection begins with rewiring ideas of belonging. “It’s generating a sense of ownership and stewardship within populations that don’t necessarily feel that national parks are there for them,” he says. “But parks are part of their birthright not just as citizens of this country but also as human beings.”

In his new role, Johnson will continue to share forgotten African…

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