American Association of Russian Women

Американская Ассоциация Русских Женщин

October 1, 2015

The Honorable Barack Obama

President of the United States

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

On October 3rd, our nation will mark the 50th Anniversary of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 that opened the door to millions of new Americans and their descendants.  To help build on the legacy of that landmark law, we urge you to create a bipartisan commission to study establishment of the National Museum of the American People.

The museum will relate the history of the making of the American People, a story which embodies our original national motto: E Pluribus Unum. This museum will celebrate every group from every land who have become Americans -- “We the People.” It will show how people from every place on Earth helped make this country the world’s economic, military, scientific and cultural leader.

The National Museum of the American People will showcase how, when, why and from where we arrived in this land, our movements across the plains and mountains of the country, what each group encountered and how each helped to transform our nation. 

The narrative begins in the prehistoric period and progresses through waves of migration and immigration until today. We expect it to be the best story-telling museum in the world as it depicts one of the world’s greatest stories.

The museum will shine a bright light on our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, and show how they helped to shape the American character and infuse the values that bind us -- especially important now when so much of the world is riven by sectarian strife.

The National Museum of the American People will become a lasting cultural legacy. All Americans will come to learn the story of their own ethnic, national or minority groups, and to learn about all of the others. Foreign visitors will come to better understand our incredibly diverse nation.


We seek no appropriated funds to plan, design, build or operate the museum. We envision a commission like the one that led to the creation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. We look forward to working with you to realize the National Museum of the American People.

Thank you for your consideration.



(list of more than 150 organization and scholar signatures begins on next page)

Organization Signatories As Of September 14


African Americans

Michael A. Grant, President

National Bankers Association


Albanian Americans
Julia L. Black, Esq., President

Albanian American National Organization


Dr. Anna Kohen, President

Albanian American Women's Organization

Mark Kosmo, Chair
Massachusetts Albanian American Society


American Indians

Jackie Pata, Executive Director

National Congress of American Indians

Arab Americans

Sarab Al-Jijakli, National President

Network of Arab-American Professionals

Armenian Americans
Rita Balian, President

Armenian American Cultural Association


Anita Anserian, Director

Armenian General Benevolent Union


Aram SurenHamparian, Executive Director
Armenian National Committee of America

Asian Pacific Americans

Hon. Ruby G. Moy, President and CEO

Asian American & Pacific Islander Association of Colleges and Universities

Lan Le Bangasser, Chair

Asian Pacific American Cultural Arts Foundation

Bonnie Wong, President

Asian Women In Business


Dan Lam, Board Chair

Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership




Fabian J. De Rozario, National President & CEO

National Association of Asian American Professionals



Hanna Surmach, President

The Belarusan-American Association


Bosnian Americans

AjlaDelkic, Executive Director

Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina


Bulgarian Americans

StanimirAlexandrov, Esq., President

The Bulgarian-American Society


Carpatho-Rusyn Americans

Patricia A. Krafcik, Ph.D., Chair

Carpatho-Rusyn Consortium of North America


Chinese Americans

Gary Matles, Co-President

Mary Child Co-President          

Families With Children From China of Greater New York


Czech Americans

Thomas A. Dine, President
American Friends of the Czech Republic


Dominican Americans
Nestor Montilla, Sr., Chairman
Dominican American National Roundtable

English Americans
Karen Karpowich, CEO

St. George's Society of New York


Estonian Americans

Marju Rink-Abel, President

Estonian American National Council


Filipino Americans

J.T.S. Mallonga, Esq., National Chair

National Federation of Filipino American Associations

Finnish Americans

OssiRahkonen, President

Finlandia Foundation National

Julie Badel, President

Finnish American Chamber of Commerce Midwest

French Americans

Rhea Côté Robbins, Founder and Director

Franco-American Women's Institute

Georgian Americans

MamukaTsereteli, President

Georgian Association in the USA


German Americans

Dr. Don Heinrich Tolzmann, President

German-American Citizens League


Beverly A. Pochatko, National President

German American National Congress (DANK)


George L. Glotzbach, Archivist

The Hermann Monument Society

Robert Land, National Chairman

Steuben Society of America


Greek Americans
Basil N. Mossaidis, Executive Director
American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association


Nick Larigakis, President & COO?

American Hellenic Institute

Hispanic American

Antonio R. Flores, President & CEO

Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities

Indian Americans
Lal K. Motwani, Past President
National Federation of Indian American Associations


Irish Americans

Thomas J. Burke, Jr., National President

Irish American Unity Conference

Fr. Sean McManus, President
Irish National Caucus

Italian Americans

John M. Viola, President and COO

The National Italian American Foundation

Aileen RiottoSirey, Ph.D., Founder, Chair Emerita

National Organization of Italian American Women

Dr. Philip R. Piccigallo, CEO/National Executive Director

Order Sons of Italy in America/Sons of Italy Foundation

Japanese Americans

Susan Uyemura, President and Oral Historian

Japanese American Living Legacy


Jewish Americans

StoshCotler, Chief Executive Officer
Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice


Allan J. Jacobs, President

B’nai B’rith International


Mark Hetfield, President & CEO

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society


Latino Americans

Dr. Maria Teresa Montilla, President

Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey


Lithuanian Americans

SigitaSimkuviene-Rosen, President, National Executive Committee

Lithuanian-American Community


Macedonian Americans

Pavlina Proevska, Executive Director

Macedonian Arts Council

Metodija A. Koloski, President

United Macedonian Diaspora


Polish Americans
Frank J. Spula, President

Polish American Congress


GrazynaKozaczka, President

Polish American Historical Association

M. B. B. Biskupski, President

Polish Institute of Arts & Sciences of America


Portuguese Americans

Francisco Semião, Executive Director

National Organization of Portuguese Americans


Fernando G. Rosa, Chairman

Portuguese American Leadership Council of the United States


Puerto Rican

Justin Velez-Hagan, Founder

National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce


Russian Americans

Natalie Sabelnik, President
Congress of Russian Americans


Dr. Regina Khidekel, AICA, SHERA, Executive Director

The Russian American Cultural Center


Russian Americans

Olga Zatsepina, Ph.D, President

Russian American Cultural Heritage Center

Scottish Americans

Alan L. Bain, President Emeritus

 American-Scottish Foundation


Martha J. Walls, President

St. Andrews Society of the Eastern Shore

Sikh Americans

Jasjit Singh, Executive Director

Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund

Slovak Americans

Brian Belensky, Vice-President

Slovak American Society of Washington, DC


Swedish Americans
Philip J. Anderson, President

Swedish-American Historical Society (Chicago)

Tore Kellgren, Grand Master

Vasa Order of America


Swiss American
Ally Gunduz, President
Swiss American Council of Women

Taiwanese Americans
Jacqui Wu, President
Taiwanese American Citizens League


Turkish American

Dr. Mehmet Toy, President

Assembly of Turkish American Associations


G. Lincoln McCurdy, President

Turkish Coalition of America


Vietnamese American
QuyenDinh, Executive Director

Southeast Asia Resource Action Center


Welsh American

Dr. Megan Williams, Executive Director

Welsh North American Association

Scholar Signatories As Of September 14


Carl L. Bankston III

Professor, Department of Sociology

Tulane University


Ronald H. Bayor

Professor Emeritus of History

Georgia Tech


John Bieter


Boise State University


John Bodnar

Distinguished Professor, History

Indiana University


Carl J. Bon Tempo

Associate Professor of History

SUNY Albany


Caroline B. Brettell

University Distinguished Professor of Anthropology

Southern Methodist University


John J. Bukowczyk

Professor of History & Editor, Journal of American Ethnic History

Wayne State University


Jon Butler

Howard R. Lamar Professor Emeritus of American Studies, History, and Religious Studies

Yale University

Geraldo Luján Cadava

Associate Professor of History

Northwestern University


Albert M. Camarillo

Professor of History and

Leon Sloss Jr. Memorial Professor

Special Assistant to the Provost for Faculty Diversity

Stanford University


Stephen Castles
Professor, Research Chair in Sociology

University of Sydney


Cindy I-Fen Cheng

Associate Professor of History and the Program in Asian American Studies

University of Wisconsin – Madison


Charles L. Cohen

E. Gordon Fox Professor of American Institutions

University of Wisconsin


Robin Cohen

Professor Emeritus  
University of Oxford

Roger Daniels

Charles Phelps Taft Professor Emeritus of History

University of Cincinnati

Ian Delahanty
Assistant Professor of History
Springfield College


Sir Tom Devine

Professor Emeritus of Scottish History and Paleography

The University of Edinburgh

Tom D. Dillehay

Rebecca Webb Wilson University Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Religion, and Culture

and Professor of Anthropology and Latin American Studies

Vanderbilt University


Hasia R. Diner

Professor of American Jewish History and Director of the Center for American Jewish History

New York University

Leonard Dinnerstein

Professor Emeritus

University of Arizona


Thomas Dublin

Bartle Distinguished Professor of History

State University of New York at Binghamton


Ellen Eisenberg

Dwight & Margaret Lear Professor of American History

Willamette University

Patricia Fernández-Kelly

Senior Lecturer in Sociology

Princeton University


David Fitzpatrick

Professor of Modern History

Trinity College, Dublin


Kathleen Flake

Richard Lyman Bushman Professor of Mormon Studies

University of Virginia


Lori Flores

Assistant Professor of History

SUNY Stony Brook





Nancy Foner

Distinguished Professor of Sociology

Hunter College and Graduate Center of the City University of New York


Donna Gabaccia

Professor of History

University of Toronto

Maria Cristina Garcia

Howard A. Newman Professor of American Studies

Cornell University


Ervan Garrison

Professor of Anthropology and Department Head

University of Georgia


Cheryl L. Greenberg
Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of History
Trinity College

Patrick Griffin

Madden-Hennebry Professor 

Department of History 

University of Notre Dame

Marilyn Halter

Professor of History and American Studies, Research Associate, Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs

Boston University


Hidetaka Hirota

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Society of Fellows in the Humanities 

Lecturer, History Department and the Century for the Study of Ethnicity and Race

Columbia University 


Dirk Hoerder

Professor Emeritus

Arizona State University


Michael Innis-Jimenez

Associate Professor of American Studies

University of Alabama


Anna Jaroszyńska-Kirchman

Distinguished Professor of History

Eastern Connecticut State University




Peter Kivisto

Richard A. Swanson Professor of Social Thought 

Augustana College


Marilynn S. Johnson
Professor of History

Boston College

Ryan W. Keating

Assistant Professor of History

California State University, San Bernardino

Thomas Kessner

Distinguished Professor of History

Graduate Center of the City University of New York

Rachel Kranson
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
University of Pittsburgh

Alan M. Kraut

University Professor & Professor of History

American University


Erika Lee

Rudolph J. Vecoli Chair in Immigration History,Director, Immigration History Research Center

University of Minnesota


Peggy Levitt

Chair and Professor of Sociology

Wellesley College

Wei Li

Professor, Asian Pacific American Studies

Arizona State University


Ed Linenthal

Professor of History

Indiana University


Dr. Huping Ling, Changjiang Scholar Chair Professor, Professor of History

Truman State Uiversity


Assistant Professor of History
GustavusAdolphus College


José Antonio Mazzotti

Professor of Romance Languages and Latin American Studies

& Director, Revista de Crítica Literaria Latinoamericana,

Tufts University

Cecilia Menjivar


University of Kansas


David S. Meyer

Professor of Sociology and Political Science

University of California, Irvine


Kerby A. Miller

Curators’ Professor Emeritus of History

University of Missouri


José C. Moya

Professor of History

Barnard College/Columbia University


Arissa Oh

Assistant Professor, History

Boston College


Gary Y. Okihiro

Professor of International and Public Affairs

Columbia University


Fernando Orejuela

Senior Lecturer of Folklore and Ethnomusicology

Indiana University


Mark Overmyer-Velázquez

Director, El Instituto: Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean & Latin American Studies

University of Connecticut


Josh Perelman

Chief Curator & Director of Exhibitions and Collections 

National Museum of American Jewish History


James Pula

Professor of History

Purdue University


David Reimers

Prof. Emeritus

New York University



Vicki L. Ruiz

Distinguished Professor of History of Chicano/Latino Studies

University of California, Irvine

Cathy J. Schlund-Vials

Associate Professor, English and Asian/Asian American Studies and Director, Asian and Asian American Studies Institute

University of Connecticut


Leah Schmalzbauer

Associate Professor of Sociology and American Studies

Amherst College


Nitasha Tamar Sharma

Associate Professor

African American Studies, Asian American Studies

Northwestern University


Tobin Miller Shearer

Associate Professor, History Department

African-American Studies Director

University of Montana


Werner Max Sollors

Henry B. and Anne M. Cabot Professor of English and of African American Studies

Harvard University

M. Mark Stolarik

Professor of History and Chairholder, Chair in Slovak History & Culture

University of Ottawa


Daniel J. Tichenor
Philip H. Knight Professor of Social Science
Senior Scholar and Program Director, Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics
University of Oregon

Dr. Don Heinrich Tolzmann
German Heritage Museum of Cincinnati

Reed Ueda

Professor of History

Tufts University

Co-Chair, Inter-University Committee on International Migration

MIT Center for International Studies



Zaragosa Vargas

Kenan Distinguished Professor of Latino Studies

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


Diane Vecchio

Professor of History

Furman University


Linda Trinh Vo

Professor of Asian American Studies & Director of the Vietnamese American Oral History Project

University of California, Irvine


Kyle G. Volk

Associate Professor of History

University of Montana



WANG Gungwu

University Professor
National University of Singapore


Mary C. Waters

M.E. Zukerman Professor of Sociology

Harvard University


Peter J. Way

Professor of History

University of Windsor (Ontario


Jace Weaver

Franklin Professor of Religion and Native American Studies

University of Georgia


Michael Zuckerman

Professor Emeritus of History

University of Pennsylvania