Press Releases

Washington–Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and a group of their colleagues to introduce the Senate companion to Representative Jamaal Bowman’s (D-N.Y.) African American History Act. This legislation provides important resources to strengthen opportunities to educate the American public about the richness and complexity of African American history and the impacts racism, white supremacy and the struggle for justice have had on the fabric of America. 

The legislation invests $10 million over 5 years in the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) to support African American history education programs that are voluntarily available for students, parents and educators.

This bill will help the NMAAHC expand and improve upon their work in a variety of ways, including:

  • Developing and maintaining a variety of accessible resources to promote an understanding of African American history. This includes a collection of digital content, housed on the NMAAHC website, to assist educators, students, and families across the country in teaching about and engaging with African American history
  • Engaging with the public through programming, resources, and social media to increase awareness of African American history through a social justice and anti-bias lens
  • Convening experts and creating and disseminating scholarly work
  • Translating new and existing NMAAHC work into multiple languages 

Further, the bill supports the NMAAHC’s work to increase national capacity for African American history education, including: 

  • developing and disseminating high quality pedagogy related to teaching African American history
  • providing opportunities for Professional Development for early childhood, elementary, and secondary teachers
  • designing and implementing a teacher fellowship program
  • engaging with local and state leaders interested in incorporating these resources in curricula 

“Let’s start with a basic fact: You cannot understand American history without knowing African American history,” said Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers. “Some people are making this a wedge issue - even bullying teachers and trying to stop us from teaching students accurate history. This bill will make sure every student learns about the history and contributions of African Americans throughout the years. And every educator should have the training and tools they need to engage and teach African American history.” 

In addition to Feinstein and Booker, the legislation is also cosponsored by Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). 

For a one-pager on the legislation, click here.

For a section by section on the legislation, click here.