SiriusXM Host Joe Madison interviewed the newly appointed first African American Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Lonnie Bunch III.
Bunch spoke with Madison about his greatest challenges, plans for the future of the Smithsonian, and the museum’s credibility as one the most trusted institutions in America. “Our job ought to be, not only a place of nostalgia that looks back, but a place that gives people insights and understanding, in essence tools to live their lives.”
He also added that the Smithsonian needs to do a better job of incorporating more diversity going forward: “I hope just my presence signals it, but the Smithsonian needs to do a better job of diversity and inclusion. It’s got to make sure that all of the staff represents America, all the exhibitions represent the diversity of America, so I want to make sure that in essence, the Smithsonian becomes the model of what museums should be.”
He also breaks down the word ‘history’ with a more inclusive ‘our story’ approach, allowing everyone a seat at the table. “All the people who have shaped this country–women, LGBT, Latinos, Asian American, black folks–their stories are essential to understanding who we are as Americans.”
Smithsonian Secretary-Elect Lonnie Bunch III – Not Just “History” but “Our Story” | AUDIO
Joe Madison & Lonnie Bunch – His Greatest Challenge | AUDIO