Smithsonian National Museum and Zocalo Public Square ask the nation: "What does it mean to be American?"

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and Los Angeles-based Ideas Exchange Zócalo Public Square are partnering to launch What It Means to Be American,  a collaborative three-year initiative aimed at engaging leading thinkers, public figures, and Americans from all walks of life to explore how the United States became the nation it is today. The kick-off event on Jan. 14, 2015 will feature former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Anna Maria Chávez, CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA, at the Heard Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate in Phoenix, Arizona.

The initiative will foster a national conversation through a series of free public events across the U.S. The first event, The Women of the West, features native Arizonans O’Connor and Chávez discussing what it means to be a Western woman and what particular opportunities the region has to offer.

The Smithsonian and its partner, Zocalo, hope this innovative program will stimulate conversation around what we all share as a nation of immigrants.