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Wal-Mart, Tavis Smiley Launch Exhibit Highlighting the African-American Experience

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will serve as the title sponsor of television talk show host Tavis Smiley's "America I AM: The African-American Imprint" traveling museum exhibition, which will feature a collection of over 150 historically important African-American documents and artifacts, music, and cultural memorabilia representing every period of U.S. history.

Wal-Mart Stores U.S. c.o.o. Bill Simon revealed the sponsorship at the 2008 State of the Black Union in New Orleans, hosted by Smiley and radio personality Tom Joyner.

"The lessons and examples of this collection are more important, and more relevant, then ever," Simon said at the event. "Only after looking back with honesty, can we as a country move forward with hope. And only by fully understanding the choices of the past can we make better choices for the future."

To show visitors the wide-ranging impact that African-Americans have had on the nation and the world, the exhibition will travel across the United States in a unique "America I AM" experiential super truck, stopping at nine African-American museums and places of historical significance over the next four years, until reaching its final destination at the Smithsonian in Washington.

The exhibition, developed by the The Smiley Group, Inc. and Arts and Exhibitions International, a division of the Anschutz Entertainment Group, will also provide educational programs, pamphlets, lectures, film series, and other activities.

Wal-Mart is a leading employer of minorities in the United States, with over 237,000 African American associates The company additionally has rolled out such companywide initiatives as tributes to the Buffalo Soldiers of the American Civil War and the Tuskegee Airmen, in addition to maintaining community partnerships with organizations including the National Urban League, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.
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