Dr. Linda Trinh Vo, VAOHP Director and Co-Curator of Vietnamese Focus exhibition, along with other organization leaders and academics, sends petition to President Obama to create a National Museum of the American People:

FOR RELEASE:                                                                         CONTACT:
Thursday, October 1, 2015                                                   Sam Eskenazi, 202-744-1868

84 Ethnic Groups, 103 Scholars Ask President To Study American People Museum

WASHINGTON, DC – A wide range of 187 ethnic and minority leaders and scholars asked the President today to create a bipartisan Presidential Commission to study establishment of the National Museum of the American People.

The museum will tell the dramatic story of every group of people from throughout the world who came here and became Americans.

The letter, signed by 84 ethnic leaders and 103 scholars, says, “The National Museum of the American People will showcase how, when, why and from where we arrived in this land, our movements across the plains and mountains of the country, what each group encountered and how each helped to transform our nation.”

The letter, keyed to the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Immigration Act, says the museum celebrates every group that helped make this country the world’s economic, military, scientific and cultural leader.

Right now there is no museum in our nation’s capital telling the full story, from the first humans here, Native Americans, to every group’s story after them through today, said Sam Eskenazi, Director of the Coalition for the National Museum of the American People. “It is well past time for telling about our incredible and dramatic story about ‘We the People’.”

Former Rep. Jim Moran, D-VA, said that he expects the museum to be the best storytelling museum in the nation. “Everyone will want to see how their own story is depicted and they will learn about all of the others.”



Available for interviews to discuss the museum:

Former Rep. Jim Moran – Contact: Gayle Reuter, greuter@mwe.com, 202-756-8746

Alan Kraut, Professor of History, American University – Contact: akraut@american.edu, 202-885-2410

Sam Eskenazi, Director, CNMAP – Contact: sam@nmap2015.com, 202-744-1868

For more information about this project, go to www.nmap2015.com

To print out or download a PDF of the letter to President Obama please click here.

October 1, 2015

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:

On October 3rd, our nation will mark the 50th Anniversary of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 that opened the door to millions of new Americans and their descendants.  To help build on the legacy of that landmark law, we urge you to create a bipartisan commission to study establishment of the National Museum of the American People.

The museum will relate the history of the making of the American People, a story which embodies our original national motto: E Pluribus Unum. This museum will celebrate every group from every land who have become Americans — “We the People.” It will show how people from every place on Earth helped make this country the world’s economic, military, scientific and cultural leader.

The National Museum of the American People will showcase how, when, why and from where we arrived in this land, our movements across the plains and mountains of the country, what each group encountered and how each helped to transform our nation.

The narrative begins in the prehistoric period and progresses through waves of migration and immigration until today. We expect it to be the best storytelling museum in the world as it depicts one of the world’s greatest stories.

The museum will shine a bright light on our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, and show how they helped to shape the American character and infuse the values that bind us — especially important now when so much of the world is riven by sectarian strife.

The National Museum of the American People will become a lasting cultural legacy. All Americans will come to learn the story of their own ethnic, national or minority groups, and to learn about all of the others. Foreign visitors will come to better understand our incredibly diverse nation.

We seek no appropriated funds to plan, design, build or operate the museum. We envision a commission like the one that led to the creation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. We look forward to working with you to realize the National Museum of the American People.

Thank you for your consideration.


Michael A. Grant, President
National Bankers AssociationFr. Kenneth Taylor, President
National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus

Julia L. Black, Esq., President
Albanian American National Organization

Dr. Anna Kohen, President
Albanian American Women’s Organization

Mark Kosmo, Chair
Massachusetts Albanian American Society

Jackie Pata, Executive Director
National Congress of American Indians

Fredericka Joseph, Chair
Society of American Indian Government Employees

Brian Patterson, President
United South & Eastern Tribes

Sarab Al-Jijakli, National President
Network of Arab-American Professionals

Rita Balian, President
Armenian American Cultural Association

Anita Anserian, Director
Armenian General Benevolent Union

Aram Suren Hamparian, Executive Director
Armenian National Committee of America

Hon. Ruby G. Moy, President and CEO
Asian American & Pacific Islander Association of Colleges and Universities

Lan Le Bangasser, Chair
Asian Pacific American Cultural Arts Foundation

Bonnie Wong, President
Asian Women In Business

Dan Lam, Board Chair
Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership

Fabian J. De Rozario, National President & CEO
National Association of Asian American Professionals

Javid Huseynov, Ph.D., Executive Director
Azerbaijani American Council
Azerbaijan Society of America

Hanna Surmach, President
The Belarusan-American Association

Ajla Delkic, Executive Director
Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina

Stanimir Alexandrov, Esq., President
The Bulgarian-American Society

Patricia A. Krafcik, Ph.D., Chair
Carpatho-Rusyn Consortium of North America

Ed Gor, National President
Chinese American Citizens Alliance–National

Gary Matles, Co-President
Mary Child, Co-President
Families With Children From China of Greater New York

Thomas A. Dine, President
American Friends of the Czech Republic

Nestor Montilla, Sr., Chairman
Dominican American National Roundtable

Karen Karpowich, CEO
St. George’s Society of New York

Marju Rink-Abel, President
Estonian American National Council

J.T.S. Mallonga, Esq., National Chair
National Federation of Filipino American Associations

Ossi Rahkonen, President
Finlandia Foundation National

Julie Badel, President
Finnish American Chamber of Commerce Midwest

Rhea Côté Robbins, Founder and Director
Franco-American Women’s Institute

Mamuka Tsereteli, President
Georgian Association in the USA

Dr. Don Heinrich Tolzmann, President
German-American Citizens League

Beverly A. Pochatko, National President
German American National Congress (DANK)

George L. Glotzbach, Director, Development Committee
The Hermann Monument Society

Robert Land, National Chairman
Steuben Society of America

Basil N. Mossaidis, Executive Director
American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association

Nick Larigakis, President & COO
American Hellenic Institute

Antonio R. Flores, President & CEO
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities


Lal K. Motwani, Past President
National Federation of Indian American Associations

Leila Austin, Executive Director
Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans 

Thomas J. Burke, Jr., National President
Irish American Unity Conference

Fr. Sean McManus, President
Irish National Caucus

John M. Viola, President and COO
The National Italian American Foundation

Aileen Riotto Sirey, Ph.D., Founder, Chair Emerita
National Organization of Italian American Women

Dr. Philip R. Piccigallo, CEO/National Executive Director
Order Sons of Italy in America/Sons of Italy Foundation

Susan Uyemura, President and Oral Historian
Japanese American Living Legacy

Stosh Cotler, Chief Executive Officer
Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice

Allan J. Jacobs, President
B’nai B’rith International

Mark Hetfield, President & CEO
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society

Anasone Silivongxay, Chairwoman
Sourichanh Chanthyasak, CEO
Laotian American National Alliance

Howard Phengsomphone, Executive Director
Lao Association of Connecticut

Dr. Maria Teresa Montilla, President
Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey

Sigita Simkuviene-Rosen, President, National Executive Committee
Lithuanian-American Community

Pavlina Proevska, Executive Director
Macedonian Arts Council

Metodija A. Koloski, President
United Macedonian Diaspora

Frank J. Spula, President
Polish American Congress

Grazyna Kozaczka, President
Polish American Historical Association

M.B.B. Biskupski, President
Polish Institute of Arts & Sciences of America

Francisco Semião, Executive Director
National Organization of Portuguese Americans

Fernando G. Rosa, Chairman
Portuguese American Leadership Council of the United States

Justin Velez-Hagan, Founder
National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce

Galina Rakityanskaya, President
Larisa Petrenko, Executive Director & CEO
American Association of Russian Women

Natalie Sabelnik
President, Congress of Russian Americans
Chair, Coordinating Council of Russian Compatriots of the US

Dr. Regina Khidekel, AICA, SHERA, Executive Director
The Russian American Cultural Center

Olga Zatsepina, Ph.D., President
Russian American Cultural Heritage Center

Elena Branson, President
Russian Center New York

Alan L. Bain, President Emeritus
American-Scottish Foundation

Martha J. Walls, President
St. Andrews Society of the Eastern Shore

Jasjit Singh, Executive Director
Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund

Brian Belensky, Vice-President
Slovak American Society of Washington, DC

Daniel D. Tanzone, President
Slovak League of America

Philip J. Anderson, President
Swedish-American Historical Society (Chicago)

Tore Kellgren, Grand Master
Vasa Order of America

Ally Gunduz, President
Swiss American Council of Women

Jacqui Wu, President
Taiwanese American Citizens League

Chung-nan Shih, Ph.D., Ex-President
Taiwanese Association of America

Dr. Mehmet Toy, President
Assembly of Turkish American Associations

G. Lincoln McCurdy, President
Turkish Coalition of America

Nguyen Dinh Thang, Ph.D., President & CEO
Boat People SOS

Quyen Dinh, Executive Director
Southeast Asia Resource Action Center

Dr. Megan Williams, Executive Director
Welsh North American Association

Scholar Signatories
Arturo J. Aldama
Associate Professor of Ethnic and Latina/o Studies, Associate Chair
Department of Ethnic Studies
University of Colorado, BoulderFrederick Luis Aldama
University Distinguished Scholar & Arts and Humanities Distinguished Professor
The Ohio State University

Eiichiro Azuma
Alan Charles Kors Term Chair Associate Professor of History
Director, Asian American Studies
University of Pennsylvania

Carl L. Bankston III
Professor, Department of Sociology
Tulane University

Ronald H. Bayor
Professor Emeritus of History
Georgia Tech

John Bieter
Boise State University

John Bodnar
Distinguished Professor, History
Indiana University

Carl J. Bon Tempo
Associate Professor of History
SUNY Albany

Caroline B. Brettell
University Distinguished Professor of Anthropology
Southern Methodist University

Charlotte Brooks
Professor of History and Chair of the Program in Asian and Asian American Studies
Baruch College
City University of New York

John J. Bukowczyk
Professor of History & Editor, Journal of American Ethnic History
Wayne State University

Jon Butler
Howard R. Lamar Professor Emeritus of American Studies, History, and Religious Studies
Yale University

Geraldo Luján Cadava
Associate Professor of History
Northwestern University

Albert M. Camarillo
Professor of History and Leon Sloss Jr. Memorial Professor
Special Assistant to the Provost for Faculty Diversity
Stanford University

Bianet Castellanos
Associate Professor
Department of American Studies

University of Minnesota

Stephen Castles
Professor, Research Chair in Sociology
University of Sydney

Cindy I-Fen Cheng
Associate Professor of History and the Program in Asian American Studies
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Charles L. Cohen
E. Gordon Fox Professor of American Institutions
University of Wisconsin

Robin Cohen
Professor Emeritus
University of Oxford

Roger Daniels
Charles Phelps Taft Professor Emeritus of History
University of Cincinnati

Ian Delahanty
Assistant Professor of History
Springfield College

Grace Peña Delgado
Associate Professor of History
University of California, Santa Cruz

Sir Tom Devine
Professor Emeritus of Scottish History and Paleography
The University of Edinburgh

Tom D. Dillehay
Rebecca Webb Wilson University Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Religion and Culture, and
Professor of Anthropology and Latin American Studies
Vanderbilt University

Hasia R. Diner
Professor of American Jewish History and Director of the Center for American Jewish History
New York University

Leonard Dinnerstein
Professor Emeritus
University of Arizona

Thomas Dublin
Bartle Distinguished Professor of History
State University of New York at Binghamton

Ellen Eisenberg
Dwight & Margaret Lear Professor of American History
Willamette University

Patricia Fernández-Kelly
Senior Lecturer in Sociology
Princeton University

David Fitzpatrick
Professor of Modern History
Trinity College, Dublin

Kathleen Flake
Richard Lyman Bushman Professor of Mormon Studies
University of Virginia

Lori Flores
Assistant Professor of History
SUNY Stony Brook

Nancy Foner
Distinguished Professor of Sociology
Hunter College and Graduate Center of the City University of New York

Donna Gabaccia
Professor of History
University of Toronto

Margaret Garb
Professor, Department of History
Washington University in St. Louis

Maria Cristina Garcia
Howard A. Newman Professor of American Studies
Cornell University

Ervan Garrison
Professor of Anthropology and Department Head
University of Georgia

C. Joseph Genetin-Pilawa
Assistant Professor of History
Department of History and Art History
George Mason University

Cheryl L. Greenberg
Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of History
Trinity College

Tanya Golash-Boza
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
University of California, Merced

Patrick Griffin
Madden-Hennebry Professor
Department of History
University of Notre Dame

Gwendolyn Midlo Hall
Professor of History
Michigan State University

Marilyn Halter
Professor of History and American Studies, Research Associate, Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs
Boston University

Hidetaka Hirota
Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Society of Fellows in the Humanities
Lecturer, History Department and the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University

Dirk Hoerder
Professor Emeritus
Arizona State University

Michael Innis-Jiménez
Associate Professor of American Studies
University of Alabama

Maurice Jackson
Associate Professor of History and African-American Studies
Georgetown University

Ely Janis
Associate Professor of History
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

Anna Jaroszyńska-Kirchman
Distinguished Professor of History
Eastern Connecticut State University

Marilynn S. Johnson
Professor of History
Boston College

Michael Jones-Correa
Robert J. Katz Chair of the Department of Government
Professor of Government
Cornell University

Philip Kasinitz
Presidential Professor and Executive Officer, Doctoral Program in Sociology
City University of New York, Graduate CenterRyan W. Keating
Assistant Professor of History
California State University, San Bernardino

Thomas Kessner
Distinguished Professor of History
Graduate Center of the City University of New York

Peter Kivisto
Richard A. Swanson Professor of Social Thought
Augustana College

Rachel Kranson
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
University of Pittsburgh

Alan M. Kraut
University Professor & Professor of History
American University

Erika Lee
Rudolph J. Vecoli Chair in Immigration History, Director, Immigration History Research Center
University of Minnesota

Peggy Levitt
Chair and Professor of Sociology
Wellesley College

Wei Li
Professor, Asian Pacific American Studies
Arizona State University

Ed Linenthal
Professor of History
Indiana University

Huping Ling
Changjiang Scholar Chair Professor, Professor of History
Truman State University

Daryl Joji Maeda

Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies
University of Colorado, Boulder

Andrae Marak
Chair, Division of Humanities and Social Sciences
Professor of History and Political Science
Governors State University

Maddalena Marinari
Assistant Professor of History
Gustavus Adolphus College

José Antonio Mazzotti
Professor of Romance Languages and Latin American Studies
& Director, Revista de Crítica Literaria Latinoamericana
Tufts University

Cecilia Menjivar
University of Kansas

David S. Meyer
Professor of Sociology and Political Science
University of California, Irvine

Kerby A. Miller
Curators’ Professor Emeritus of History
University of Missouri

José C. Moya
Professor of History
Barnard College/Columbia University

John Nieto-Phillips
Associate Professor, Department of History & Latino Studies Program
Indiana University

erin Khuê Ninh
Associate Professor
Department of Asian American Studies
UC Santa Barbara

Arissa Oh
Assistant Professor, History
Boston College

Gary Y. Okihiro
Professor of International and Public Affairs
Columbia University

Fernando Orejuela
Senior Lecturer of Folklore and Ethnomusicology
Indiana University

Mark Overmyer-Velázquez
Director, El Instituto: Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean & Latin American Studies
University of Connecticut

Josh Perelman
Chief Curator & Director of Exhibitions and Collections
National Museum of American Jewish History
James Pula
Professor of History
Purdue University

David Reimers
Professor Emeritus
New York University

Vicki L. Ruiz
Distinguished Professor of History of Chicano/Latino Studies
University of California, Irvine

Cathy J. Schlund-Vials
Associate Professor, English and Asian/Asian American Studies and Director, Asian and Asian American Studies Institute
University of Connecticut

Leah Schmalzbauer
Associate Professor of Sociology and American Studies
Amherst College

Nitasha Tamar Sharma
Associate Professor
African American Studies, Asian American Studies
Northwestern University

Tobin Miller Shearer
Associate Professor, History Department
African-American Studies Director
University of Montana

Seema Sohi
Assistant Professor, Department of Ethnic Studies

University of Colorado, Boulder

Werner Max Sollors
Henry B. and Anne M. Cabot Professor of English and of African American Studies
Harvard University

Jordan Stanger-Ross
Associate Professor, History
Project Director, Landscapes of Injustice

University of Victoria, British Columbia

M. Mark Stolarik
Professor of History and Chairholder, Chair in Slovak History & Culture
University of Ottawa

Thomas J. Sugrue

Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and History
New York University

Daniel J. Tichenor
Philip H. Knight Professor of Social Science
Senior Scholar and Program Director, Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics
University of Oregon

Don Heinrich Tolzmann
German Heritage Museum of Cincinnati

Thomas A. Tweed
W. Harold and Martha Welch Professor of American Studies
Professor of History
University of Notre Dame

Reed Ueda
Professor of History
Tufts University

Co-Chair, Inter-University Committee on International Migration
MIT Center for International Studies

Zaragosa Vargas
Kenan Distinguished Professor of Latino Studies
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Diane Vecchio
Professor of History
Furman University

Linda Trinh Vo
Professor of Asian American Studies & Director of the Vietnamese American Oral History Project
University of California, Irvine

Kyle G. Volk
Associate Professor of History
University of Montana

Priscilla Wald
R. Florence Brinkley Professor of English and Margaret Smith Taylor Director of Women’s Studies
Duke University

Wang Gungwu
University Professor
National University of Singapore

Mary C. Waters
M.E. Zukerman Professor of Sociology
Harvard University

Peter J. Way
Professor of History
University of Windsor (Ontario)

Jace Weaver
Franklin Professor of Religion and Native American Studies
University of Georgia

Michael Zuckerman
Professor Emeritus of History
University of Pennsylvania