Our diverse backgrounds and experiences make our communities – and our country – stronger. To better understand the history and lived experiences of our neighbors, we need to invest in telling their stories to learn more about who we are as a nation.
I’m honored to share that today the Smithsonian announced that Walmart has donated $5 million to support the new National Museum of the American Latino, which will showcase the Latinos and Latinos who helped shape the United States. The donation through the Walmart.org Center for Racial Equity made Walmart a founding donor to the museum.
It will be the first Smithsonian museum dedicated to showcasing Latinx history and culture in the United States. It will allow visitors to discover how diverse Latinx communities have long advanced our nation’s goals of democracy, freedom, and economic opportunity in pursuit of the American Dream.
As the Smithsonian builds the museum, it will launch its first physical presence through the Molina Family Latino Gallery at the National Museum of American History. The Smithsonian also offers virtual resources, so anyone from anywhere can access this celebration of Latinx history and culture. The gallery includes a revealing new project titled “Somos“, named after the Spanish verb “We are”, which captures the rich diversity of the Latinx experience, from unique immigration stories to the different races, identities and nationalities that make up the community. You can watch a preview here.
As an immigrant and a family man, it is deeply personal for me to see this storytelling come to life. Years ago, my daughter came home from school upset after a career day because none of the speakers sounded like her. As we have done several times as a family, we have shared examples of many Latinas and Latinos and their contributions to the country. Now I am filled with optimism as generations of young people will have the opportunity to learn how the Latinx experience is deeply connected to the history of our country.
And as a Walmart associate working in close partnership with Latinx organizations in my role on our constituent relations team, I’m proud that Walmart is supporting this effort through the Walmart.org Center for Racial Equity. It’s an example of how the center invests in intersectional efforts to uplift communities of color across the country through its work to build racial solidarity. The idea of “Somos” – who we are – is at the heart of this investment. Celebrating and strengthening our diverse communities helps each of us gain deeper empathy and understanding, and ultimately enables us to work better together so that we can all fulfill our nation’s promise.
Walmart’s support for the museum builds on the company’s longstanding support of the Latinx community. The opening of a Sam’s Club in Mexico marked the company’s first step into the international market in 1991. After decades of belonging to the Latinx community in the United States, Walmart has not only become the one of the largest Latinx employers in the country, it has also been a business partner for Latinx-owned businesses and vendors. At the same time, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have partnered with many Hispanic-led organizations to support programs that advance education, workforce development, upskilling, nutrition education, health and well-being.
I’m excited to see this next step in Walmart’s support of the Latinx community unfold, and I look forward to the possibilities that arise when people can access the deeper story of the Latinx experience in the United States. .
For more information on Walmart’s commitment to diversity, inclusion through philanthropy, please visitwalmart.org.