Press Releases

Reflecting Goal of immigration Museum

Museum Unveils New Mission & Vision Statement

July 9, 2018

Kevin Jennings speaking in front of a podium

Kevin Jennings speaking in front of a podium


July 9, 2018, New York, NY— The Tenement Museum today publicly unveiled its new mission and vision statements, indicative of a new direction for the institution at a time when its historic subject is front page news. The new statements reflect the Museum’s goal to expand its scope far beyond its physical location of Lower East Side, through a range of new initiatives that aim to reshape the narrative around immigration in the United States.

The new Mission & Vision statements are as follows:

Mission: The Tenement Museum tells the uniquely American stories of immigrants, migrants, and refugees in the ongoing creation of our nation

Vision: A society that embraces and values the fundamental role of immigration in the evolving American identity

The statements were approved by the Museum’s Board of Directors at the end of a transitional period for the institution and during a uniquely turbulent time for immigrants and immigration in the United States.

In December, the Tenement Museum opened its latest permanent exhibition, Under One Roof, expanding the Museum’s programming to include post-World War II immigration and marking the successful end of the Museum’s previous five year plan, a period in which the Museum doubled its annual visitorship to almost 250,000 people, including 50,000 students.

Now, under the new leadership of Kevin Jennings, a former Obama Administration Department of Education official and founder of GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network), Museum is looking to dramatically expand the reach and impact of its programming, so that its work’s function, as outlined in the Mission statement, achieve the world outlined in its Vision statement.

To do so it has launched a number of new initiatives designed to reach people who many never set foot in the Lower East Side. The new initiatives include a mixture of new digital content. In the next year, the Museum will release its first ever podcast series, which will explore many themes around the topic of immigration. It is also exploring augmented and virtual reality content. The Museum is also partnering with institutions around the country to take its story ‘on the road.’ It is working with schools to create immigration modules in curriculums and with other museums, historical societies and even commercial sites, to bring its trademark storytelling approach to immigration to their own communities.

“As immigration continues to dominate our national conversation, the work of the Tenement Museum has never felt more urgent,” said Jennings. “This is the Tenement Museum’s moment and we plan to rise to the occasion by dramatically expanding our programming beyond New York to reach all of America,” Jennings said.

About the Tenement Museum

At a time when immigration is at the center of our national conversation, the Tenement Museum is more relevant than ever. Since 1988, the Museum has forged emotional connections between visitors and immigrants past and present, through educator-led tours of its historic tenement buildings at 97 and 103 Orchard and the surrounding neighborhood, enhancing appreciation for the vital role immigrants play in shaping the American identity. The Museum has become one of New York City’s preeminent cultural and educational institutions, welcoming more than 238,000 visitors, including 55,000 students, each year. The Museum now aims to use every medium at its disposal to dramatically increase the impact of its programming—reaching millions not thousands– with its message of how immigrants built and continue to build America.


Jas Chana, Media & Communications Manager, [email protected], 646-518-3063