Caterpillar Foundation Donation Creates First African American Innovation Entrepreneurship Curator with Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture

$2 Million Grant Awarded to the National Museum of African American History and Culture


November 5, 2021


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Caterpillar Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) and a founding donor of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), is proud to announce a new collaboration with NMAAHC and the creation of the first-ever Caterpillar Curator of African American Innovation and Entrepreneurship through a $2 million grant. 

The grant will support the creation of a new NMAAHC museum position named the Caterpillar Curator of African American Innovation and Entrepreneurship. This position will direct initiatives to help NMAAHC advance new conversations and understanding of diversity and inclusion through the lens of African American innovation and entrepreneurship in science and technology. The grant will also establish an endowment for permanent funding to support creating and maintaining collections, exhibits and programs that highlight and preserve the history and culture of African Americans and the contemporary traditions of innovation and entrepreneurship in the African American community. 

“Entrepreneurship has created opportunities for African Americans often when there were none,” said Kevin Young, Andrew W. Mellon Director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture. “Those innovators have changed the ways that people experience the world today and forged a way for future generations to follow. We’re excited to share their work through this collaboration with the Caterpillar Foundation as we continue to share the efforts of African Americans and their impact on American history and culture.”

“Caterpillar’s commitment to diversity and inclusion extends beyond our workforce. The Caterpillar Foundation’s ongoing partnership with the museum provides a platform for thought leadership and best practice sharing,” said Caterpillar Chairman & CEO Jim Umpleby. “The Caterpillar Foundation is pleased to support sharing lessons learned from generations of African American changemakers, providing tools and perspectives to inspire current and future innovators, and build resiliency among individuals and communities.”

September marked the five-year anniversary of the NMAAHC and 10 years that the Caterpillar Foundation has partnered with the Smithsonian Institution through strategic grants and the matching gifts program. 

About Caterpillar Foundation
Founded in 1952, Caterpillar’s philanthropic organization, the Caterpillar Foundation, has contributed nearly $810 million to help make sustainable progress possible around the world by building resilient communities that thrive in a rapidly changing world. To learn more about the global impact of the Caterpillar Foundation, visit To connect with us on social media, visit

About Caterpillar
With 2020 sales and revenues of $41.7 billion, Caterpillar Inc. is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives. Since 1925, we’ve been driving sustainable progress and helping customers build a better world through innovative products and services. Throughout the product life cycle, we offer services built on cutting-edge technology and decades of product expertise. These products and services, backed by our global dealer network, provide exceptional value to help our customers succeed. We do business on every continent, principally operating through three primary segments – Construction Industries, Resource Industries, and Energy & Transportation – and providing financing and related services through our Financial Products segment. Visit us at or join the conversation on our social media channels at