Committee of 100
Arts & Culture, Civic Engagement, Public Policy

Blog Post: A national museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture. Could it be? 

15th June 2022

This week, President Biden signed into law H.R. 3525, which will establish a commission to study the potential creation of a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture. 

Gary Locke, Committee of 100 Chair, former Governor of Washington State, former U.S. Commerce Secretary, and current President of Bellevue College in Washington, stated on behalf of Committee of 100: 

“For far too long, the Asian American and Pacific Islander community here in the United States has been marginalized, viewed as the perpetual foreigner and strangers in our own homeland. We are Americans and yet our history, contributions, and stories in the U.S. have not been fully told. The creation of a national museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture would be a defining moment in the history of not only the AAPI community but for America overall. We commend Representative Grace Meng for her leadership and Congress for doing what’s right and taking the first step in a long journey. We appreciate that President Biden and the Biden Administration are supportive of moving this idea toward implementation.”   

Here at Commitee of 100, we asked our Members what the significance of this new law is and what it means to them:  

“Asians and Pacific Islanders have been part of the fabric of American society for over four centuries. Such a museum will provide much needed better understanding and appreciation of Asian Pacific Americans’ history and culture, by all Americans, in order to promote cohesiveness in society, without which America cannot reach its goal of being a true melting pot.” – Tony Chan, Committee of 100 Member and President of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

“HR3525, the resolution to create a study commission, offers hope to millions that the vital role generations of Asian Pacific Americans have played in the development of our great country will be formally acknowledged and lauded. A museum will serve as the national focal point to showcase our history and achievements, as a place of pride for our children and future generations, and as an educational resource for society.” Dr. Paul Chu, Committee of 100 Member and Professor of Physics & TLL Temple Chair of Science; Executive Director, Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston. 

“The AAPI community has come to this country and contributed, working hard and enriched American lives. We are an integral part of American culture and it’s critical that our stories be told.” – Don Liu, Committee of 100 Member and Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Missouri  

“The adoption of H.R. 3525 to study the creation of a museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture is timely and very welcome news. The role of national museums is evolving—from warehouses of the past to places we gather to understand the past, the present and imagine the future. As we move in this direction, we must begin to tell a broader, richer, and more inclusive story of Americans, of the diverse America we live in, and of the many promises, hopes, and ideals we all share. We see in the headlines what happens when these stories are neglected, when the beauty, commitment, and sacrifice of the Asian American Pacific Islander community in building this country is overlooked or, more often, omitted. A museum exploring our history and culture, a space to discover our stories and explore our experiences, has the power to inspire, connect, and shape the national conversation with courage and care: a power to unite us all. I salute Representative Grace Meng and other congressional leadership for shepherding this effort, and the Biden Administration for its support.” – Jay Xu, Committee of 100 Member and The Barbara Bass Bakar Director and CEO of the Asian Art Museum 

You can read President Biden’s and Vice President Harris’ official remarks on HR3525 here. Stay tuned to Committee of 100 for more news and commentary on this issue in the weeks and months to come. 

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