Congresswoman Maloney joins Girl Scouts of Greater New York as they Endorse Effort to Establish a Smithsonian Women’s History Museum

Aug 9, 2017
Press Release

NEW YORK—Today, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) joined with the Girl Scouts of Greater New York at the Fearless Girl statue as they announced their enthusiastic endorsement of a women’s history museum on the National Mall in Washington, DC and Rep. Maloney’s legislation, H.R. 19, the Smithsonian Women’s History Museum Act, to create such an institution.

Rep. Maloney introduced the bipartisan H.R. 19 in March, Women’s History Month, with Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA). The legislation would create a Smithsonian museum dedicated to American women’s history on the National Mall.  The bipartisan bill now has the support of the majority of the House of Representatives, with 246 bipartisan cosponsors.

Girl Scouts working on the Women’s History Museum will be able to earn civic engagement badges for their work.  In addition, Girl Scouts will advocate for a patch dedicated to the Women’s History Museum that Girl Scouts who visit the museum and engage in its programming will be able to earn.  The Scouts placed a Girl Scouts sash on the Fearless Girl Statue.

“These young girls know why we need a women’s history museum on the National Mall,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “When I met with some of the Girl Scouts last week, they told me how much the museum would mean to them. It would be a shining example that this country is committed to true equality, and a chance for all Americans to learn about the extraordinary women who helped build our country, explore the world, create lasting works of art and develop our understanding of how things work. These Girl Scouts are our future, the next generation of leaders and innovators. How can we expect them to feel empowered if we do not recognize the women that have come before them? A new Smithsonian museum dedicated to women’s history will inspire young women—and men—for years to come.”

"Girl Scouts is the largest and most successful girls’ leadership development organization in the world, and our goal has always been to help each girl realize her full potential," said Girl Scouts of Greater New York CEO Meridith Maskara. "That is why we are so proud to stand with the Congresswoman today in support of the first National Women's History Museum in any nation's capital; one that shows the full scope of women's contributions to this country, and will surely serve as an inspiration for generations of girls and women to come."

Background:

HR 19 Summary

  • Establishes a Smithsonian national museum for the collection, study and establishment of programs covering the contributions of women to various fields throughout history;
  • Establishes an advisory council consisting of 25 members appointed by the Smithsonian Board of Regents to make recommendations concerning planning, design and construction, operations and finances, and programming for the museum;
  • Directs Smithsonian to appoint a Director to manage the museum and carry out educational programs in cooperation with other Smithsonian institutions and schools;
  • Instructs the Board of Regents to choose one of two locations for the museum site, both located on the National Mall and recommended by the Congressional Commission and authorizes the transfer of the chosen site to the Smithsonian Institution;
  • Ensures that private funds finance the construction of the museum building, while authorizing federal funds for the planning, design, and operation of the museum by the Smithsonian.

H.R. 19 is based on the work of the bipartisan American Museum of Women's History Congressional Commission, which was created in 2014  to study the need for such a museum through legislation introduced by Reps. Maloney and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-7) in the House and former Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) in the Senate. The bipartisan commission submitted its report to Congress in November 2016 with a unanimous recommendation that a comprehensive women’s history museum should be established on or near the National Mall as part of the Smithsonian Institution.

The bipartisan Commission’s report found:

  • The future Museum of Women’s History should be part of the Smithsonian; 
  • The exhibits and collections should be inclusive and represent a diverse array of viewpoints and perspectives of women who have helped shape America;
  • The museum deserves a prominent location on or very close to the National Mall;
  • Private sector money should finance the construction of a world-class museum.

A video of today’s press conference is available here

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