You are reading

President Biden Signs Meng’s Bill Paving Way for the Creation of First National AAPI Museum

Rep. Grace Meng joined President Biden at the White House Monday as he signed her bill that seeks to create the first national museum dedicated to preserving the history and culture of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (Photo courtesy of Rep. Grace Meng)

June 15, 2022 By Czarinna Andres

Rep. Grace Meng joined President Biden at the White House Monday as he signed her bill that seeks to create the first national museum dedicated to preserving the history and culture of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).

Meng’s bipartisan legislation unanimously passed both houses of Congress. The bill passed the House of Representatives in April and the Senate in May, during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

“I am ecstatic and overjoyed at this historic moment and honored and proud to have championed this crucial effort, especially after fighting for this legislation in Congress over the past seven years,” Meng said.

“I thank and commend President Biden for signing my bill into law and understanding the importance of establishing a national AAPI museum. Since the beginning of his administration, President Biden has proven to be a true friend and ally of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.”

Also attending the signing ceremony were Vice President Kamala Harris and several other lawmakers and organizations that supported the legislation.

Meng’s bill will follow a similar path used to create the National Museum of African American History and Culture which opened in 2016, and the National Museum of the American Latino and National Women’s History Museum, both of which are in the process of being established.

Meng said that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have been pivotal to the U.S.’s growth since its founding.

“We have helped make the United States the greatest country in the world, but unfortunately many remain unaware of the crucial role we’ve played throughout our history,” she said. “It’s time for that to change and creating a national museum would ensure there is a physical space to commemorate and share our story with future generations.”

Her legislation, titled the “Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture Act,” will now see the creation of a commission of experts in museum planning and/or Asian Pacific American history to examine the feasibility of establishing, funding and operating such a museum in Washington.

The commission, which will have eight members, will be given 18 months to determine the feasibility of establishing the museum and be required to complete several duties in doing so.

The commission will be required to produce a report that will detail what is needed to create the museum. The report will involve the development of a fundraising plan; the feasibility of acquiring collections for the museum; possible locations for the museum; and a legislative plan as to how to establish and construct the museum.

The commission will also be required to determine whether the museum should be part of the Smithsonian Institution, which is the world’s largest museum and research complex located in Washington.

The House Speaker, Senate Majority Leader, House Minority Leader and Senate Minority Leader will be tasked with appointing the commission’s eight members.

Meng’s legislation has been applauded by Asian American leaders from across the country.

“The passage of this bill is an important first step in recognizing the history and lived experiences of AAPI communities,” said John Yang, president and executive director at Asian Americans Advancing Justice, when the legislation was passed by the House in April. “Creating a national resource and institution dedicated to public education of Asian American and Pacific Islander histories is critical to building a more inclusive future.”

Jo-Ann Yoo, Executive Director of the Asian American Federation, said the bill’s passage was particularly important in the current day, as hate crimes against the AAPI community have risen nationwide since the onset of the pandemic.

“In the face of the continued harm inflicted on Asian Americans by hatred and ignorance, knowledge and understanding is the best balm,” Yoo said. “We believe along with Rep. Grace Meng, that a National Museum of AAPI History and Culture will help us learn from and celebrate our history, present a perspective that will help Americans bridge division, and lead to greater empathy among diverse races.”

Meng said she was happy for all Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders that her legislation has been signed into law.

“Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have shaped our nation since its founding,” Meng said. “From the struggles we’ve endured to the accomplishments we’ve made, it’s time for more Americans, and our future generations, to know our story. And a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture would provide the physical space for people to learn how we have helped make America the country that it is today.”

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Queens Botanical Garden hosts Lunar New Year celebration with globally beloved Miffy

About 4,200 people joined the world-renowned beloved rabbit Miffy to ring in the Year of the Rabbit at Queens Botanical Garden’s Lunar New Year celebration on Saturday, Jan. 28. 

Queens Botanical Garden’s Lunar New Year celebration included a visit from Councilman Shekar Krishnan, who gave remarks, followed by a program of activities for all ages. Attendees enjoyed a lion dance performance, zodiac crafts, demonstrations, lucky plant sales and more. Miffy was in attendance for photos, story time and to greet children throughout the event.

Mets owner Steve Cohen hosts second community visioning session regarding development of area around Citi Field

Hundreds of community residents and leaders gathered at the Piazza Club inside Citi Field to participate in a visioning session regarding the development of a nearby 50-acre lot. This marked the second visioning session New York Mets owner Steve Cohen has hosted at Citi Field in January as he attempts to collect as much community feedback regarding the development as possible.

Attendees of the visioning session went to a series of interactive stations, sharing what mattered most to them when it came to improving the area around Citi Field, including preferred forms of year-round entertainment, ability to access different forms of transportation and attainable local jobs and training. Information and input was collected from the community in how they would like to see the lot utilized. A common theme among many of those who took part in the visioning session was the desire to see something built there that would bring a lot of economic opportunity to the community and provide year-round entertainment.

NewYork-Presbyterian Queens doctor aims to bring awareness to women’s heart health

With February marking the beginning of American Heart Month, a cardiologist from NewYork-Presbyterian Queens Hospital spoke with QNS about the importance of heart health for women.

According to attending cardiologist Dr. Joanna Troulakis, approximately 400,000 women die as a result of cardiovascular diseases each year in the United States. She noted that women have suffered more cardiovascular disease deaths than men in recent years. When it comes to heart attacks, the mortality rate for women is higher than men.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.