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S. 3547: African American History Act


The text of the bill below is as of Feb 1, 2022 (Introduced).


II

117th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 3547

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

February 1, 2022

(for himself, Mr. Van Hollen, Mr. Brown, Ms. Klobuchar, Mr. Cardin, Mr. Menendez, Mrs. Feinstein, and Mr. Murphy) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration

A BILL

To authorize the Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture to support African American history education programs, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the African American History Act.

2.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

African American history

The term African American history means the history of African Americans, including the history of African peoples beginning in the African diaspora through the present day, that illuminates the passage to the Americas, slavery, abolition, reconstruction, and the civil rights movements. This history also includes a focus on the innovations and contributions of African Americans to society both past and present, and the impact of African Americans on the history and development of the United States.

(2)

African American history education program

The term African American history education program means an educational program relating to African American life, art, history, and culture, including programs—

(A)

using digital, electronic, and interactive technologies; and

(B)

carried out in collaboration with elementary schools, secondary schools, and postsecondary schools.

(3)

Director

The term Director means the Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

(4)

ESEA terms

The terms early childhood education program, elementary school, local educational agency, and secondary school have the meaning given such terms in section 8101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801).

3.

Program authorized

(a)

In general

The Director, in accordance with any program of the National Museum of African American History and Culture established before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this Act, may use the funds appropriated under section 5 to carry out any of the following activities at the discretion of the Director:

(1)

Developing and making available accurate, relevant, and accessible resources to promote the understanding of African American history, which may include digital resources and other types of resources, such as print resources and traveling exhibitions.

(2)

Through a social justice and anti-bias lens, convening experts, providing opportunities for discourse, and engaging with the public through programming, educational resources, and social media.

(3)

Through a social justice and anti-bias lens, increasing resource capacity, technical support, and content creation to engage various audiences in-person and via online platforms.

(4)

Creating, expanding, and disseminating scholarly work through research, curricula, in-house and traveling exhibitions, publications, and programming.

(5)

Providing language translation of the work of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, including scholarly work, research, traveling exhibitions, publications, programming, pamphlets, and other information distributed about activities funded under this Act.

(6)

Expanding the collection acquisition and collection access processes, including staffing, conservation, processing, and digitization.

(7)

Augmenting one or more of the following African American history education program activities:

(A)

Development, dissemination, and implementation of principles of sound pedagogy for teaching about African American history.

(B)

Provision of professional development, such as, but not limited to, through—

(i)

local, regional, and national workshops;

(ii)

teacher trainings or engagements in conjunction with African American history education centers and other appropriate partners;

(iii)

engagement with—

(I)

local educational agencies; and

(II)

early childhood education programs, elementary schools, and secondary schools that are independent of any local educational agency; and

(iv)

operation and expansion of a teacher fellowship program to cultivate and support leaders in African American history education.

(C)

Engagement with State and local education leaders to encourage the adoption of resources supported under this Act into curricula across diverse disciplines.

(8)

Creating, developing, implementing, replicating, or taking to scale entrepreneurial, evidence-based, field-initiated innovations for museum improvement, and evaluating rigorously such innovations.

(b)

Online African American history education resources

(1)

Website

The Director may use the funds appropriated under section 5 to develop and maintain on the website of the National Museum of African American History and Culture content designated for educators, students, and families to improve their awareness and understanding of African American history.

(2)

Information distribution

The Director may use funds appropriated under section 5 to distribute information about the activities funded under this Act through the website of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and may respond to inquiries for supplementary information concerning such activities.

(c)

Continuation of activities

To the extent that the National Museum of African American History and Culture is engaged in an activity described in subsection (a) or (b) on the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director may use the funds appropriated under section 5 to continue that activity.

4.

Annual report and briefings

(a)

Report

Not later than February 1 of each year, the Director shall submit to Congress, and make available to the public, a report describing how the funds made available under this Act have been used—

(1)

to create and promote educational activities; and

(2)

otherwise to carry out this Act.

(b)

Briefings

Not later than 6 months after the date on which funding is first distributed under this Act, and annually thereafter, the Director or the Director’s designee shall brief the Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate and the Committee on House Administration of the House of Representatives on the programs and activities carried out under this Act.

(c)

Sunset

Subsections (a) and (b) shall cease to be effective on September 30, 2026.

5.

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act $2,000,000 for fiscal year 2022 and each of the 4 succeeding fiscal years.