The Friends of the American Latino Museum released this statement in recognition of the Smithsonian Institution’s announcement of a $10 million donation to open the  Smithsonian Latino Center’s Molina Family Latino Gallery:

“We extend our most heartfelt congratulations to Secretary Skorton and the Smithsonian Latino Center Director, Eduardo Díaz, on this historic announcement that will illuminate our American history with a gallery in the National Museum of American History on the National Mall.

We add our gratitude to the Molina siblings, Dr. J. Mario Molina, John Molina, Dr. Martha Molina Bernadett, Janet Watt, and Josephine Molina, for their sizeable donation. In honoring the legacy of their father, Dr. C. David Molina, they also honor the lives of Latinos and Latinas throughout American history that have given, sacrificed and contributed to the success of our union. This gift will serve to honor, educate, and inspire generations that have yet to fully see themselves in the tapestry of our country. We also applaud corporate leaders for their partnership in making efforts like the Molina Family Latino Gallery possible, including Target’s generous $2 million gift towards the gallery’s opening.

This gallery is an encouraging step in the right direction, but the American Latino narrative, and our 500 year history and contributions, can only truly, and accurately, be presented when there is a full museum opened to the 20 million people that come from all over the world to learn about our country’s history in our nation’s capital. We look forward to working with Congress and our nation’s leaders to ensure that this significant step is followed soon by the approval for the creation of a Smithsonian National American Latino Museum.”