Ford Motor Co. is donating $1 million to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. The donation from the Ford Motor Company Fund, the company’s philanthropic organization, will go toward funding key programs of the museum.
In a press release, Jim Vella, president of the Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services, said, “Since Henry Ford’s groundbreaking $5 a day wage in 1913, which paid people equally regardless of race, Ford has invested in programs that empower and celebrate the African American community. Ford is proud to work with the Smithsonian on this museum that will recognize the tremendous contributions of African Americans to our country and our world.”
Ford has had a relationship with the Smithsonian for 40 years, and the company has contributed $11.5 million in donations that support exhibits and programs that provide educational opportunities for families.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted to exploring and documenting American history through an African-American lens. The 400,000-square-foot museum was established by an act of Congress in 2003 as the Smithsonian’s 19th museum and is currently under construction on a five-acre site near the Washington Monument. It is expected to open in 2016 on the National Mall.
“We are so pleased that the Ford Motor Company Fund has chosen to join hundreds of donors from across the country to build a groundswell of support for the National Museum of African American History and Culture; we recognize this as a vote of confidence,” said Lonnie G. Bunch, III, founding director of the museum.
“It is a genuine honor to have the company join us in our commitment to bring to the nation’s capital a truly innovative cultural resource – one capable of telling a richer and fuller story of the development of this country.”