The Smithsonian Institution and Latino Representation

In collaboration with the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative, the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center (CSRC) is conducting analyses of the Smithsonian Institution’s progress toward implementing the ten recommendations in a 1994 report by the institution's Task Force on Latino Issues. That report, titled Willful Neglect: The Smithsonian Institution and U.S. Latinos, found that Latinos comprised only 2.7 percent of the Smithsonian's workforce, with no Latinos in senior management or executive leadership. Almost twenty-five years later, the Latino population in the U.S. has doubled to 17.6 percent of the population, making Latinos the largest minority group. This study, announced on June 18, 2018, analyzes Latino representation within the Institution’s workforce, programming, collections, and exhibitions. It applies a mixed-methods research framework to evaluate the Institution’s actions in addressing the “consistent pattern of Latino exclusion.” The first report, released September 10, 2018, surveys the extent to which the 1994 recommendations were adopted and implemented. An update using data provided by the Smithsonian was published September 25.

Reports and Advisories
Report Update
Sonja Diaz, Daisy Vera, and Gabriela Solis
September 25, 2018
Daisy Vera, Chon A. Noriega, Sonja Diaz, and Matt Barreto
September 10, 2018
Media Advisory
September 6, 2018
Press Release
June 18, 2018
Media Coverage
"A National Museum for Latinos"
The New York Times, December 28, 2020 (PDF)
"At Smithsonian, Latinx Leadership Numbers Fall by 50%"
Nonprofit Quarterly, October 1, 2018 (PDF)
“‘The Smithsonian can do more and should do more,’ says advocate for a Latino museum”
The Washington Post, September 25, 2018 (PDF)
WBAI 99.5 New York interview with "The Jordan Journal"
WBAI, September 21, 2018. To listen, click here
"Invisible No More / No más invisibles"
ManhattanTimes, September 11, 2018 (PDF)
"Aumenta fuerza laboral latina en Smithsonian pero continúa bajo el liderazgo"
Hoy Los Angeles, September 10, 2018 (PDF)
"Smithsonian registra mejoras en contratación de latinos pero éstos son ínfimos, según informe"
La Opinion, September 10, 2018 (PDF)
"Latinos Remain Largely Excluded By Smithsonian Institutions, New Report Finds"
WAMU 88.5 American University Radio, September 10, 2018 (PDF)