To Illuminate the American Story for All
Posted on 05/05/2011 @ 08:33 AM
As we prepare to stand before Congress today and respectfully submit our final report on the feasibility of creating a National Museum of the American Latino, to be located on the National Mall in our nation's capital, I would like to take a moment to consider again the questions that we have been pondering and studying since 2009: Should there be a National Museum that reflects the contributions of Latinos to every aspect of American society and culture? Should this proposed museum be part of The Smithsonian, a venerable institution whose mission has always, unwaveringly, been "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge?" The answer is a resounding yes.
For two years we have studied what the museum might look like and researched what Latinos would like to see in such a museum. We applaud the Smithsonian's desire to imagine itself as a place that more fully reflects the diversity and depth of American civilization and values in all its multicultural beauty by joining us in the noble effort. It is our belief, as the report will show, that there must be a living monument that recognizes that Latinos were here well before 1776 and that in this new century, the future is increasingly Latino, more than fifty million people and growing. The Smithsonian Institution American Latino Museum will serve not only as a monument for Latinos and a testament to our important contributions to American history and culture, but also as a 21st Century learning laboratory rooted in the mission that every American should have access to the stories of all Americans.
I would like to thank my fellow members of the National Museum of the American Latino Commission, and especially the thousands of American citizens, in communities across the country, who have worked so ceaselessly, enthusiastically, and tirelessly with us over the last few years. With your continued support our dream of creating The Smithsonian American Latino Museum in Washington, D.C. will soon become a reality.
With much gratitude,
Henry R. Munoz III Chairman