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Stream every public session from the 27th annual Global Conference right here on our website.

MCAAD The American Dream Monthly: April 2024

The American Dream Monthly: April 2024

In This Issue

What We’re Reading
What We’re Seeing
What We’re Hearing
This Month at MCAAD

As spring blossoms and the world awakens to vibrant colors, we look forward to celebrating a month filled with cultural richness and historical significance. May 1 marks International Workers' Day, a time to honor the labor movement and the contributions of workers worldwide. Next month, we also celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Jewish American Heritage Month. To honor these important themes, join us as we delve into stories of perseverance, innovation, and cultural contributions that have shaped the American Dream.

Rachel Goslins
Executive Director & Chief Creative Officer
Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream, Milken Institute

What We’re Reading

International Workers' Day, observed annually on May 1, has strong ties to the American Dream. Starting in the US from the historic struggles of the labor movement, this day serves as a reminder of the enduring quest for dignity, fairness, and equality in the workplace. Originating from the fight for an eight-hour workday in the late 19th century, International Workers' Day symbolizes the aspirations of workers worldwide for improved working conditions, livable wages, and social justice.

“Decades before the 8-hour workday became the country's norm, the organization now known as the American Federation of Labor set May 1, 1886, as the date that workers nationwide should go on strike to demand the 8-hour workday,” notes NPR.

As we reflect on the American Dream, we recognize the pivotal role that labor rights and collective action play in shaping opportunities for individuals and communities to achieve prosperity.

What We’re Seeing

May is also the month of Milken Institute’s annual Global Conference in Los Angeles. This year, our 27th Global Conference will focus on the theme "Shaping a Shared Future" and take place May 5–8. Explore the list of speakers and view the livestream and recordings of the sessions from the program page.

In the meantime, and in honor of International Workers’ Day, check out this panel from last year’s Global Conference, The Future of Work: Charting a New Course, which looks at new challenges that will reshape the future of work. How will emerging technologies—like AI—transform hiring, training, and retention? How can business executives and employees collaborate to create an ecosystem that respects and honors the dignity of work, while prioritizing productivity and maximizing profit? Watch this conversation with leading global executives to learn more about the work transformation that lies ahead.

May celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, honoring the many contributions and accomplishments of Asian Americans, Pacific Islander Americans, and Native Hawaiians.

The US Senate traces the origins of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month to June 1977 when Congressmen Frank Horton of New York and Norman Mineta of California introduced a resolution to establish Asian Pacific Heritage Week, celebrated each year at the beginning of May. Senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga of Hawaii introduced similar legislation in the Senate. The following year, President Jimmy Carter signed into law a joint resolution to establish the annual event, and the first celebration took place in May 1979. In 1992, the month of May was designated by President George H. W. Bush as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

This PBS video, A Celebration of the AA and NHPI Community: Highlighting Our Diverse Tapestry, brings Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders together to celebrate across their communities, uplift their voices, and look toward a future of healing and strength and features remarks from President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

What We’re Hearing

Discover the island cultures of the South Pacific and their musical expressions with the Smithsonian Institution’s selection of music from Hawai'i, the Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea. Hear recordings of Hawaiian slack key guitar, rhythmic game songs from the Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea flute playing.

To top off May’s cultural festivities, Jewish American Heritage Month is a celebration that honors the contributions, achievements, and rich cultural heritage of Jewish Americans throughout history. Originating from the vision of Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida and Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, this month-long observance offers an opportunity to reflect on the remarkable journey of Jewish immigrants and their descendants in pursuit of the American Dream.

This online exhibit from the New York Historical Society offers a wonderful look into the lives and experiences of the first Jewish Americans. “This exhibition goes to the heart of these remarkable Jewish and American stories,” reads the exhibit. “Together with art, objects, and documents...the exhibition follows the familiar and unfamiliar pathways taken by Jews to these shores, as well as their efforts to adapt to their new homeland. Their experience remade Jewish life as much as it remade America. They helped to broaden freedom and culture in the early United States, leading the way to full social, cultural, and political participation for millions of Jewish Americans, and many more others, in the United States today.”

This Month at MCAAD

Just as the American Dream calls us to look back to our past while envisioning a brighter future, MCAAD is committed to preserving our historic home while outfitting it with the latest in technology and innovation.

An emblem of digital advancements in immersive storytelling, the Kenneth C. Griffin Holodeck will present visitors to MCAAD with The Perpetual Story Machine. This interactive space, featuring displays across walls and ceilings, tells the story of three individuals on their journey to achieve the American Dream. But, like any story, if they are not shared with others, they will fade away and be lost forever.

Act fast to save the stories and help them flow through The Perpetual Story Machine once again. Then, step into the core of the story machine to experience the stories firsthand. Visitors will find that the opportunity to achieve the American Dream is available to all of us through vision, courage, and persistence. Memory and the stories of those who came before us can be the greatest fuel to shaping our own future.

A rendering of a future exhibit at the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream called the The Perpetual Story Machine.