On Feb. 22, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility Lajuana Bradford represented Regions at a White House reception hosted by President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. The event celebrated the groundbreaking of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture will be a place where all Americans can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience, what it means to their lives, and how it helped shape our nation. Construction of the building will begin on the Mall in 2012 and will be completed in 2015.
“Attending the reception was a great honor,” said Lajuana. “It was a privilege to be at the White House and share in an event so historic in scope.”
About 150 people attended the reception, during which President Obama spoke, and afterwards he and the first lady mingled with guests. Attendees ranged from congressional members and dignitaries to celebrities.
“Being a part of this important event at the White House was a once in a lifetime experience, and I was honored to speak and shake hands with the President and Mrs. Obama,” said Lajuana. “I even took the opportunity to inform the president that I work for Regions Financial, and that we’re one of the good ones!”
Lamell McMorris, one of five members of the Regions Diversity Advisory Council and founder and CEO of Perennial Strategy Group in Washington, D. C., secured an event invitation for Lajuana to represent Regions at the historic event. Lamell has been part of the council since it was established in 2010 to support Regions’ overall diversity efforts.
Before the reception, the museum groundbreaking was held on the National Mall where the 323,000-square-foot, seven-level museum is set to open in 2015. For the past nine years, museum staff have been raising funds, searching for artifacts and building exhibits that will chronicle the lives of everyday African Americans and those who are more well known throughout history.
“When future generations hear these songs of pain and progress and struggle and sacrifice, I hope they will not think of them as somehow separate from the larger American story,” President Obama said at the event. “I want them to see it as center — and important part of our shared story.”
As part of Regions’ celebration of Black History Month in February, the reception was an opportunity for Lajuana — and Regions — to take part in a significant and historic moment more than a century in the making.