Initiative Will Convene Comprehensive Conversations About Race and Racism Through a National Forum, Regional Events and Educational Resources
The Smithsonian will kick off its new race initiative, “Our Shared Future: Reckoning with Our Racial Past,” with a virtual forum Aug. 26. The initiative will bring together resources from across the Smithsonian to explore how Americans understand, experience and confront racism through several critical lenses like wellness, wealth and the arts. “Our Shared Future: Reckoning with Our Racial Past” will include virtual and live events across the country as well as digital content, storytelling and learning resources for students and educators.
Using the Smithsonian’s vast resources and expertise in history, art, science and culture, the initiative will convene conversations about race and racism across the country, exploring how Americans of all backgrounds experience race through six main themes: Race and Wellness; Race and Wealth; Race and Place; Race, Policy and Ethics; Race Beyond the U.S.; and Race, Arts and Aesthetics. The race initiative will invite the public to join the conversation through website response prompts, and it will offer opportunities for the public to self-produce programs to engage in conversations in their own communities using downloadable resources available on the initiative website.
Leaders, collections and programming from the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Museum of the American Indian, the Smithsonian Latino Center, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, the National Museum of American History, other Smithsonian museums and centers, and the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative will be engaged in this project.
“At this pivotal moment in history, we need to talk openly about the complexities of race and the effects of racism that continue to touch all aspects of American society,” said Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary of the Smithsonian. “‘Our Shared Future: Reckoning with Our Racial Past’ is an important way for us to encourage that conversation. This initiative continues the Smithsonian’s 175-year tradition of using its unique content to help all Americans seek a better shared future, one that embraces everyone and continues us on a more diverse, inclusive path toward being a more perfect union.”
At this pivotal moment in history, we need to talk openly about the complexities of race and the effects of racism that continue to touch all aspects of American society.