I am part of an exciting new mission in Washington, one that my Comcast colleagues have fully supported. Last year, Congress authorized the creation of the National Museum of the American Latino Commission. The Commission consists of 23 members appointed by the President and the majority and minority leaders of the Senate and the House.
I was honored to be named to serve on the Commission, along with 22 other academics, museum executives, community leaders, and celebrities such as music producer Emilio Estafan and actress Eva Longoria Parker.
The purpose of the Commission is to study the potential of a national museum in Washington, D.C. dedicated to the art, culture, and history of the Latino Community in the United States. A report outlining a plan for the museum is to be submitted to Congress and the White House within two years of the first meeting of the Commission.
That inaugural meeting was held recently in the office of Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. He and Congressman Xavier Becerra of California were the co-sponsors of the legislation creating the Commission. They both shared their personal stories, as did other Commission members. Their tales of family, struggle and determination touched us deeply and motivated us to succeed.
I also shared my father’s story — a WWII veteran who told me how Latinos are frequently left out of American history. It is in his honor that I have chosen to serve on this Commission. (By the way, Emilio Estefan was my table partner during the two-day launch. His creative energy was intoxicating! It became very clear to me why he is an iconic music producer - and that he will be a valuable asset to the Commission.)
I shared with the group my views on a previous Commission report which I had read while on vacation. I advised the group that there was a long way between today and the achievement of our dream, with political hurdles along the way, and that we need to navigate accordingly. I guess I was persuasive - my fellow Commissioners elected me as First Vice Chair!
I’m very proud to have the chance to work on creating a National Museum of the American Latino in Washington, D.C. that will share this nation’s extraordinary Latino history with everyone.