Smithsonian’s new initiative tackles how Americans ‘understand, experience and confront race’

The Smithsonian in D.C. announced a new initiative that will tackle how Americans currently “understand, experience and confront race.”

Called “Race, Community and Our Shared Future,” it will also explore the impact of race on communities and how that impact is shaping the future, a Smithsonian news release said.

“For nearly 175 years, the Smithsonian has been a place that brings America together in times of joy, celebration, sorrow and sadness,” Lonnie Bunch, secretary of the Smithsonian said. “A place where the country reflects and learns about our nation’s past and present.”

The Smithsonian has partnered with Bank of America, which has committed $25 million, for the initiative.

Bunch said that the initiative recognizes a “key moment when all Americans need to see racism as a national issue that transcends specific communities.”

The initiative will start with virtual town hall conversations among global and national leaders in civil rights, social justice and economic mobility, with hopes of driving changes in policies.

The Smithsonian said the initiative will launch immediately on its Virtual Smithsonian platforms.

Resources from the Smithsonian, including from several of its museums, will be used in the project.

“A true sense of urgency has arisen in our communities and we must not let it quiet down,” Brian Moynihan, Bank of America CEO and museum council member for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, said. “Our commitment to the Smithsonian will support conversations that can advance economic and social progress. Now is the time. We all must do more.”

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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