Boston (July 15, 2020) - The Museum of African American History (MAAH) announced today that it has been awarded a $1 million grant from the Liberty Mutual Foundation to create new programs that position MAAH at the forefront of today’s local and national discourse about equity and civil rights. Read the recent coverage of the Museum by the Boston Business Journal and Time magazine.
“As the country seeks to lift up the narratives of those who have historically been silenced by racism, making our historic buildings, collections, and programming available to a broader audience takes on even greater importance,” said MAAH President and CEO Leon Wilson. “With this new grant from our long-time supporter Liberty Mutual, the African Meeting House can once again be a hub of dialogue and activism through which real change is made at the local and national level.”
This multi-stage initiative leverages the unique perspective and resources that can only be found at MAAH, which for over 200 years has served as a national platform for those who advocated for freedoms for Black Americans.
"For over 200 years, the African Meeting House has served as one of the nation's most important and influential centers of cultural and political discourse around racial equality," said Liberty Mutual Foundation President Melissa MacDonnell. "Today, the Museum of African American History invokes this important history in the very place it happened - to open new conversations around racial equity. This investment will enable MAAH to expand its narrative of Black and other social justice activists....and underscore how their courage, as they united across race and class in the struggle for human rights, ushered in modern democracy."
When the Museum reopens to visitors on July 27th using Covid-19 opening protocols, they will see one-of-a-kind artifacts and learn true stories behind the making of America that have been left out of the textbooks and that explain why we are where we are today and provide context as to where we as a nation need to go. The grant will also support the creation of new educational modules that will allow the Museum to extend its outreach to engage with larger audiences including schools, universities and businesses.
The Museum will also use the grant funds to expand its signature Race in the Public Dialogue programming with a new multi-part series centered on social injustices and disparities faced daily by African Americans. The series, to be produced in partnership with WGBH, will explore the historical roots of systemic racism and its impact on the unrest and the cultural changes so many are fighting for today.
“The African Meeting House has born witness to many of this country’s seminal moments and the walls at the Museum of African American History reverberate with stories from across our nation’s founding history,” said Wilson. “It is these stories of struggle, determination, hope, and celebration that have the power to make people think differently about our own time. A shift in what is told here, shifts the whole narrative.”
ABOUT THE MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY
The Museum of African American History inspires all generations to embrace and interpret the authentic stories of New Englanders of African-descent, and those who found common cause with them, in their quest for freedom and justice. Through its historic buildings, collections, and programs, the Museum expands cultural understanding and promotes dignity and respect for all.