September 17, 2019

The Smithsonian Latino Center (SLC) received a major grant from the Ford Motor Company Fund, which includes $200,000 to support the development of the Molina Family Latino Gallery and $170,000 for the Young Ambassadors Program (YAP). Ford has invested more than $2 million in the Latino Center, which represents over 12 years of support for YAP and exhibits such as “American Sabor.”

“The Latino Center and Ford have been partners for a very long time,” said Eduardo Díaz, director of the Smithsonian Latino Center. “We’re grateful for their ongoing support and happy to now welcome them as one of the first corporate contributors to the Latino Gallery.”

The Molina Family Latino Gallery will be the first dedicated museum space on the National Mall celebrating the U.S. Latino experience. With major support from the family of Dr. C. David Molina and stewarded by the Smithsonian Latino Center, this 4,500-square-foot gallery is scheduled to open at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in fall 2021. The gallery will present stories of discovery, identity, migration, innovation, entrepreneurship and success to millions of diverse, intergenerational audiences.

Ford Fund’s ongoing support of YAP has enabled the Latino Center to offer a unique opportunity for young Latinos to become community-conscious leaders and lifelong learners. Nearly 300 students have participated in the program during the past 12 years, each receiving a $2,000 stipend toward college-related expenses, a week of training in Washington, D.C., with preeminent Latino scholars and leaders, and a four-week internship at a Smithsonian partner or affiliate cultural or science museum.

“Ford Fund has a long history of supporting cultural experiences at the Smithsonian that understand and preserve our heritage,” said Joe Avila, community development manager, U.S. and Latin America, Ford Motor Company Fund. “By supporting the Latino Gallery, we are proud to celebrate traditions that transcend generations.”

About the Smithsonian Latino Center

The Smithsonian Latino Center is the corazón of Latinidad at the Smithsonian. It works toward preserving Latino history and culture, engaging Latino communities and advancing Latino representation in the United States. Since 1997, the center has successfully ensured that the contributions of the Latino community are celebrated and represented throughout the Smithsonian Institution. For more information, visit

About Ford Motor Company Fund       

As the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, Ford Fund’s mission is to strengthen communities and help make people’s lives better. Working with dealers and nonprofit partners in 63 countries, Ford Fund provides access to opportunities and resources that help people reach their full potential. Since 1949, Ford Fund has invested more than $2 billion in programs that support education, promote safe driving, enrich community life and encourage employee volunteering. For more information, visit or join us at @FordFund on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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