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Margaret Pemberton gives her $300,000 donation to Margaret Turner, senior major gifts officer, National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Margaret Pemberton is a shining example of what it means for African Americans to help each other. She is passionate about giving back to preserve her community and its culture.

She is a major contributor to the forthcoming Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in D.C. She donated $300,000 to solidify the museum’s place as a future building on the National Mall. The building is expected to be completed in 2016.

Other donors to the museum include The Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations and The Lily Foundation among several others.

“Now, because of your support and that of others, we are poised to open an innovative 390,000 square-foot, five-level, environmentally sustainable building on the National Mall,” according to a letter written to Pemberton by the museum’s Director Lonnie G. Bunch.

Pemberton’s motivation to see the museum come to fruition in D.C. is one that spans from a deep appreciation of her heritage.

“I think this is one of the greatest things I’ve seen happen in the District of Columbia,” she said.

As a former District nurse for 35 years, Pemberton, who doesn’t have any children of her own, donates funds to scholarships for nursing students at Howard University and Norfolk State University in Virginia. She also funded scholarships to Dillard University in Louisiana. “I put them in there,” she said, referring to the students who received her scholarships. Pemberton also mentors these students and sees them through their educational endeavors.

Pemberton is an active advocate for helping the culture enhance. She is currently active in four organizations, including the National Black Nurses Association, the National Council of Negro Women, the American Business Women’s Association and the D.C. chapter of AARP.
“As an African American, I’ve always wanted us to grow and grow and grow,” she said. “It’s important to me to be a part of history and leave a legacy.”