The Smithsonian Institution has announced the launch of an initiative aimed at exploring how Americans understand, experience, and confront race, its impact on communities, and how it is shaping the nation's future.
Launched with a $25 million commitment from Bank of America, a founding member of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Race, Community and Our Shared Future initiative will draw on the Smithsonian's museum collections, educational resources, and research to examine the historical context for the challenges facing the nation today. With the goal of identifying solutions that help build a more inclusive, sustainable future, the initiative will be launched with a series of virtual town hall conversations featuring global and national leaders in the areas of civil rights, social justice, and economic mobility.
"This important new initiative builds on the unique role the Smithsonian plays in our country as a platform that engages and inspires all Americans," said Smithsonian board chair Steve Case. "Bank of America's generous support will enable us to launch this initiative immediately on our full array of 'Virtual Smithsonian' platforms so we can start having the frank and open conversations we need to have regarding race, identity, and justice in order to come together as a nation."
"For nearly a hundred and seventy-five years, the Smithsonian has been a place that brings America together in times of joy, celebration, sorrow, and sadness," said Lonnie Bunch, secretary of the Smithsonian. "A place where the country reflects and learns about our nation's past and present....The Smithsonian's expertise, scholarship, and collections will help our nation to better understand the challenges that arise from racism, to confront our difficult history, and to unite to bring healing and hope for our future."
(Photo credit: Smithsonian Institution)