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Lead Donors: The Molina Family

Black and white photo of Dr. C. David and Mrs. Mary Molina smiling, sitting at a table.

Representation Matters

Why the Molina family supports the National Museum of the American Latino and the Molina Family Latino Gallery.

Mario Molina. Foro Storytellers, 2021. National Museum of the American Latino
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The Molina Family Latino Gallery is named in recognition of the its lead donors. The five children of Dr. C. David Molina and his wife, Mrs. Mary Molina, an educator, collectively donated $10 million to support the Gallery to honor their parents’ legacy. Dr. Molina was a healthcare leader in California and founded the publicly traded Fortune 500 company Molina Healthcare Inc. 

The Molina Family’s values of honoring their ancestors and celebrating Latino culture are foundational to their parents’ legacy of giving back to the community. It is essential to have a place where future generations can find their own diverse stories reflected in the nation’s museum. A place where visitors can learn about and understand U.S. Latino history and culture and how Latinas and Latinos have added to the fabric of America, inspiring many to see themselves in the Smithsonian. 

The following video offers a glimpse into the Molina Family’s values and why they support the Smithsonian’s first museum dedicated to celebrating U.S. Latino history and culture.

What the Gallery means for the Latino Museum

The Molina Family Latino Gallery is a precursor to the National Museum of the American Latino and foreshadows what a Latino Museum could embody. The Latino Gallery will open with ¡Presente! A Latino History of the United States to tell U.S. history from the perspectives of the diverse Latinas and Latinos who lived it and live it today. This exhibition uncovers hidden and forgotten stories, connects visitors to Latino culture, and lays the foundation for understanding how Latinas and Latinos inform and shape U.S. history and culture. The intentional diversity of objects, images, and stories clarifies that Latinidad is a dynamic exchange between related but distinct communities under the Latino identity. 

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