New Report Says Latinos Overlooked By Smithsonian
A new report from the UCLA’s Chicano Studies Research Center and the Latino Policy and Politics Initiative finds that the Smithsonian Institution failed to achieve most of the goals it set for itself nearly a quarter of a century ago to improve Latino representation in its workforce, leadership, and programming. The report, Invisible No More, shows that Latinos still remain largely excluded from participation in arts and cultural institutions that tell the American story. The findings details the ways in which the Smithsonian has overlooked Latinos in its executive ranks and budget priorities. It isn’t all bad news: the Smithsonian’s Latino workforce has grown from 2.7% in 1994 to 10.1% in 2018, though that lags behind their 17.8% share of the U.S. population. In terms of executive leadership, Latinos are severely underrepresented. No Latinos served on the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents -- the Institution’s main governing body -- before 1994, and only four have served since; there has been no Latino representation since 2016. The report included 10 recommendations for improvement, including the development of a Latino Museum on the National Mall. "The UCLA study has confirmed what we have argued for some time, the Willful Neglect report is a 24-year-old roadmap, and its most significant recommendations have been largely ignored. Chief among those recommendations is the need to create a Smithsonian American Latino Museum as the only way to truly address the gaps in our American history. [The report] comes at a time when misunderstandings and stereotypes about American Latinos are harming our community," said Estuardo Rodríguez, Executive Director of the Friends of the American Latino Museum. See the report here.