Walmart Inc. announced Monday (Jan. 27) a $5 million grant to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, D.C., as part of the Bentonville-based retailer’s commitment to promote diversity and inclusion.
“The National Museum of African American History & Culture is a vital institution, deepening everyone’s understanding of our nation’s history through the lens of the African American experience,” said Julie Gehrki, vice president of philanthropy at Walmart. “Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have a long history of supporting diversity and inclusion, and we are pleased to support the museum as they continue to build out programs to advance their mission.”
The $540 million museum opened adjacent to the Washington Monument on the National Mall in 2016 and is the 19th Smithsonian Institution Museum. The nearly 400,000-square-foot museum has welcomed more than 7 million visitors and has more than 3,000 artifacts on display. It’s the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history and culture. The public institution is open to all and offers attendees the opportunity to participate, collaborate and learn more about African American history and culture.
The grant will benefit visitor services programs, corporate leadership council, collections and acquisitions, scholarship and research, education and public programs, exhibitions and emerging technologies, according to a news release. This grant is the second donation Walmart has made to support the museum’s initiatives. The first $5 million gift was given to support the design and construction of the museum.
Walmart hosted Monday a private event to celebrate the museum’s contributions and acknowledge the role the Congressional Black Caucus has had in the development of the museum.
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation look to change systems to help create more equitable opportunities for all, the news release shows. They have invested in work to increase diversity in talent pipelines, build more inclusive small business ownership and improve community cohesion. Recently, Walmart provided money for a report published by FSG, which provides steps for employers to remove barriers to the advancement of frontline employees of color.