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JACL Applauds the Signing of H.R. 3525

By June 13, 2022June 17th, 2022No Comments

Law Oks Formation of a Commission to Study the Potential National Museum of Asian Pacific American History

[Editor’s note: Parts of the following was issued by JACL Public Affairs VP Sarah Baker and JACL Education & Communications Coordinator Matthew Weisbly, as well as by the Japanese American National Museum, and was lightly edited only to adhere to AP Style.]

The National Japanese American Citizens League applauded President Biden’s enactment on Monday of H.R. 3525, the Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture Act after the bill passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support.

The bill would allow the eventual creation of a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., where it would join the many other museums dedicated to sharing the stories, histories and cultures of other marginalized groups in our nation.

JACL Executive Director David Inoue said “We have been fortunate to have the National Museum of American History showcase our Japanese American history with recent dedicated major exhibitions. However, a museum dedicated to the history and culture of all Asian Pacific American communities will ensure these stories become a part of the permanent collection of what is shared in the Smithsonian, and the rich diversity of the Asian Pacific American community will be showcased for all Americans to learn and better understand.”

Japanese American National Museum President and CEO Ann Burroughs said, “We are proud to support the Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture Act. This act elevates the stories of Asian Pacific Americans and reaffirms Congress’s commitment to preserving and sharing our nation’s history. The Japanese American story is one facet of the rich and complex history of Asian Pacific Americans. To educate one another about Asian Pacific American history is to help all of us understand who we are. President Biden’s actions spur us to redouble our efforts to deepen inclusion in our community and the museum field and to equip the public with the clarity, historical context, and tools to advocate for equality, fight anti-Asian hate, and share their American story.”

The four main goals of the newly created commission are to:

  • map a plan of action for the implementation of the creation of the museum;
  • develop a fundraising strategy for the building and operation of the museum;
  • find an independent review of the fundraising strategy; and
  • present a legislative proposal to Congress for the museum’s establishment and construction.

JACL stated: “While we are cognizant of the fact that the development of such a museum will take time and much work, support, and input from our own community, we are confident that the commission will be able to craft a plan that will make such a museum possible and help to share the stories of the Asian American community for generations to come.

“We applaud Rep. Grace Meng for her leadership and vision to bring us to this point. and look forward to the appointment of the commission members and the initial steps they take towards making a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture a reality.”

Other co-sponsors included Reps. Judy Chu and Mark Takano, and members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.