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A Community Conversation Beyond the 50 States

America250 hosted Community Conversation: Beyond the 50 States on November 4, 2021. The event spanned across the globe, with representatives from Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia. During the 60-minute conversation, panelists shared the importance of diversity at the forefront of the commemoration, their view on the U.S. Jurisdictions’ relationship to the United States, opportunities for the commemoration, and their hopes for America’s future.  

Panelists included Eduardo Arosemena-Muñoz Chairman, Board of Directors, Institute of Puerto Rican Culture; Elliot L. Ferguson, President and CEO of Destination DC (DDC); Dr. Kimberlee Kihleng, Executive Director of Humanities Guåhan; Leo Pangelinan, Executive Director for the Northern Marianas Humanities Council; and Verdel L. Petersen, Facilitator of the Capacity Building Project in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The panel encouraged America250 to highlight the diverse histories and experiences of each U.S. Jurisdiction. Petersen emphasizes that every U.S. Jurisdiction has a “distinct culture, history, and identity.”“They each represent a various aspect of American history,” said Ferguson. “It’s all about the diversity of the American experience.” 

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The event was co-moderated by America250 staff members Dr. Megan Springate, Director of Engagement, and Dr. Carleen Carey, Director of Public Outreach and Inclusion. Kelsey Millay, Director of State Partnerships, took a moment to share America250’s commitment to working with each state and U.S. Jurisdiction to establish their own 250th commissions. These commissions will collaborate closely with the national America250 organization and lead the planning of the commemoration in their individual states and U.S. Jurisdictions. 

“Talk about the successes and benefits that come our way, that help our people, as part of being part of the United States,” said Pangelinan. “Patriotism and allegiance to the United States is not a question for us.” 

America250 will be hosting Community Conversations regularly through 2026. A Community Conversation with the Latinx/Hispanic community will take place on January 19, 2022. Register here.

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Join all Americans and share your story about your history and your hopes and dreams for the future of our country. Together, we will tell the American story through videos and the most inclusive commemoration in our history.

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