Diverse Ethnic Leaders Ask White House To Create Museum Telling Every Group's Story


Leaders of 41 diverse ethnic and minority groups today asked the White House to create a Presidential Commission to study a new national museum in Washington.

The proposed National Museum of the American People will tell the story about the making of the American People starting with the first humans in the Western Hemisphere some 20,000 years ago and coursing through history to today.

The 88 leaders represent Americans who came from throughout the world: Europe, Africa, Asia and Pacific Islands, the Americas and First Peoples. They all signed the Declaration of E Pluribus Unum asking that their stories be told along with all of the others.

Signatories include Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League and Rev. Al Sharpton, Founder and President of the National Action Network, Inc.

The NMAP literally brings all Americans together. Sam Eskenazi, director of the effort to build the NMAP, said that it would “honor our American ancestors, help reunite Americans now and preserve our national values for our descendants.”

“Ours is one of the greatest epic sagas in human history,” he said. “This would be one of the most powerful story-telling museums anywhere as it breathes new life into those legendary words of our Constitution, ‘We the People.’”

Eskenazi expects that all Americans will visit the museum to experience their own story and in that process learn of all of the others. The museum will show how people from everywhere came together to build and defend this nation and contribute to making it the economic, military, scientific and cultural leader of the world.

The museum is expected to spur civics education for student visitors and others nationwide through its education programs. Eskenazi said that the museum will demonstrate how our founding documents played a central role in shaping the American character in all of its diversity and will help future generations understand and achieve our national ideals.

He said that the American People are a special mosaic where more than 90 percent of us still recognize and use a hyphen to delineate the distinct ethnicities of our heritage from whatever part of the world we came. “Our nation is not based on being part of any single racial, ethnic, nationality or religious belief.”

Here are links to the signed Declaration as well as background information about the National Museum of the American People and the Commission:

• Declaration of E Pluribus Unum

• Recommendation and Reasons to create the NMAP Presidential Commission

• NMAP Background (what, where, who, how, competing concerns and precedents)

• Commission Background


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