In Her Words: How a Trip to D.C. Brought a New Understanding of U.S. History

Chiao Alice Chang gained valuable insight after winning a visit from Intel during Black History Month 2019 to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. A native of Taiwan, Alice moved about two years ago to Santa Clara, Calif. She is a technology development module and integration yield engineer in the Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group at Intel. Here is her experience, in her own words.

As an immigrant who grew up in Asia, I have limited knowledge of U.S. history. I was excited to get this opportunity to visit Washington, D.C.! Along with the NMAAHC, I toured the National Museum of the American History, the American Art Museum, and the National Gallery of Art. It was a fascinating trip full of learning.

Prior to my D.C. visit, I didn’t understand why Americans are so sensitive about race, gender, and religion, among other topics. Now, I better understand the nation’s struggles.

NMAAHC had the deepest impact on me. It shares interesting stories and reveals uncomfortable truths. At times, the history in the exhibits was dark and heavy, showing how we are all connected in various ways by a shared past. Other exhibits explored the pathway to changes in society and celebrated people and groups who stood up for justice.

NMAAHC starts with the history of the transatlantic slave trade about 400 years ago. This exhibit was the most powerful, shocking for someone like me who hasn’t explored U.S. history. I also learned about the American Civil War, which began over the controversy of slavery.

I’m grateful I got the chance to learn about those who fought – and continue to fight – for social justice. I’m even prouder to be at a company that recognizes the value of inclusion.

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