Agency history, 1994-1998

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  • Adams, Robert McC (Robert McCormick) 1926-2018
  • Newman, Constance Berry 1935-
  • Bretos, Miguel A
  • Smithsonian Institution Office of the Counselor to the Secretary for Latino Affairs
  • Smithsonian Institution Office of the Under Secretary
  • Smithsonian Institution Office of the Secretary
  • Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives
  • Smithsonian Institution Task Force on Latino Issues
  • Smithsonian Institution Latino Oversight Committee


Agency History


  • This is an agency history. It does not describe actual records. The Smithsonian Institution Archives uses these histories as brief accounts of the origin, development, and functions of an office or administrative unit to set that unit in its historical context. To find information on record holdings, please double-click the highlighted field "Creator/Author", which will open on a brief view of relevant records.
  • Email from Miguel Bretos to Edie Hedlin, 2/17/2004
  • Smithsonian Annals, 1994-1995, 1997-1999
  • Smithsonian Directory, 1997, 1999
  • "Task Force on Latino Issues releases, report recommends changes," The Torch, 6/1994
  • The Torch, 9/1994
  • "Secretary issues new plan," The Torch, 11/1994
  • "Willful neglect: The Smithsonian Institution and U.S. Latinos." Report of the Smithsonian Institution Task Force on Latino Issues (Washington, D.C.: 1994)
  • SIA Acc. 00-022, Box 3, Folder 3
  • Miguel A. Bretos became Counselor to the Secretary for Latino Affairs in May of 1994 (renamed the Counselor to the Secretary for Community Affairs and Special Projects in 1995). The Counselor advised the Secretary and Under Secretary on implementation of the Task Force on Latino Issues' recommendations concerning greater Latino inclusion at the Smithsonian Institution. When the Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives (established by the Board of Regents in 1997) opened in 1998, the Counselor position ceased to exist as such, and Bretos became Senior Scholar at the SCLI, serving 1998-2001.
  • The Task Force on Latino Issues, composed of 15 Latino professionals from outside the Smithsonian Institution, was established in May of 1993 by Secretary Robert McCormick Adams and Under Secretary Constance Ernestine Berry Newman, who recognized the inadequacy of Latino representation at the Smithsonian Institution. The Task Force created the report "Willful Neglect: the Smithsonian Institution and U.S. Latinos" (May 1994), which investigated Latino presence at the Smithsonian and made recommendations for implementation and oversight of improvements. Creation of the Counselor position, described as a "Special Assistant" to the Secretary in the report, was one of its recommendations. Another was the organization of a smaller body of Latinos to continue the work of the Task Force. The Counselor convened and served on this group, called the Latino Oversight Committee (1995-1997), a 15-member body with a two-year life span. The Oversight Committee ultimately produced the report "Toward a Shared Vision: U.S. Latinos and the Smithsonian Institution" (October 1997), which transformed the general recommendations of the Task Force into a more detailed vision and roadmap for inclusion and accountability.
  • For a history of the larger creating unit, refer to "Forms part of" above.

Repository Loc.

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Capital Gallery, Suite 3000, MRC 507; 600 Maryland Avenue, SW; Washington, DC 20024-2520


  • 1994
  • 1994-1998


Latin Americans


United States


Mixed archival materials

Local number

SIA AH00394

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