The congresswoman reintroduced a bill last week to commission a study on the possibility of creating such an institution in Washington, D.C. Meng told HuffPost that AAPI narratives remain widely misunderstood. AAPIs have given so much to the nation, yet “many Americans remain unaware of the important impact that AAPIs have had on our country,” she said.
The legislation, previously introduced in 2016, would create a panel of eight individuals with backgrounds in AAPI research and culture or museum-planning. Over the course of 18 months, the commission would make recommendations on establishing the museum, develop a fundraising plan to be independently reviewed, report on the availability and cost of acquiring collections for the museum, and submit a legislative plan of action to Congress.
Citing the work of Chinese laborers on the transcontinental railroad, Filipino agricultural workers who helped lead the farmworker revolution, and dark chapters in U.S. history like Japanese American incarceration during World War II and the murder of Vincent Chin, Meng told HuffPost that these “are parts of history that cannot be forgotten.”
“These stories must continue to be told, and a National Asian Pacific American Museum would ensure this happens, and that more Americans know about the history, culture and accomplishments of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders,” she said.
In a press release for the bill, Meng described museums as gateways for the public to explore U.S. “rich history, challenges it overcame, and potential for greatness.” An AAPI museum in Washington, D.C., would ensure the experiences of AAPI people would be recognized by all Americans, she said.
Thus far, the representative said she’s received a great deal of support for the bill from legislators and advocacy groups. It will need to be passed through committee before it’s considered by the House.