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California Science Center debuts new exhibit, "RACE: Are We So Different?"

Posted: September 23, 2009 10:39 a.m.
Updated: September 23, 2009 1:00 p.m.

In the exhibit "RACE: Are We So Different?" visitors are moved to contemplate their own ethnic heritage.

 
LOS ANGELES -- Beginning Saturday, Oct. 3, visitors to the California Science Center will explore the controversial issues of race and racism in the United States through the thought-provoking exhibit "RACE: Are We So Different?"  

Using interwoven perspectives, the exhibition encourages guests to examine the science, everyday impact, and history of race.

RACE will be hosted at the Science Center until Dec. 31.

"We are pleased to host RACE in its West Coast premiere," said Jeffrey Rudolph, president and CEO of the California Science Center. "This exhibit presents an opportunity to bridge science and social issues and to discover the effects of race in our lives and within society."

RACE addresses the topics of race and racism from three different angles. The three sections are connected and tell a compelling story of science with deep and lasting social impact.

* Science: In this section of the exhibit, visitors will discover that human beings are more alike than any other living species, and no one gene or set of genes can support the idea of race.

* Everyday experience: Though race may not be a real biological concept, it certainly is real both socially and culturally.

In this section of the exhibit, visitors will explore the personal experiences of race in our schools, neighborhoods, health care systems, sports and entertainment industries, and more.

* History: Ideas about race have been around for hundreds of years, and they have changed over time.

This section of RACE demonstrates that, throughout American history, economic interests, popular culture, science, politics, and the struggle for power have played a role in shaping our understanding of race.

The exhibit features the work of photographer Wing Young Huie, who specializes in documenting the changing cultural landscape of urban environments. His Lake Street USA project transformed six miles of Minneapolis' Lake Street into a public art project that earned national attention in 2000.

RACE promotes discovery, discussion and reflection through a powerful and interactive combination of artifacts, historic and contemporary photography, multimedia components, and interactive activities.

RACE is part of a larger public education project from American Anthropological Association and funded by the Ford Foundation and the National Science Foundation.

The project is intended to inform and shape the national dialogue about race. In addition to the exhibit, the initiative includes a website, educational materials, and conferences designed to share research and information with the public.

The national tour of "RACE: Are We So Different?" is presented by the Best Buy Children's Foundation. The exhibit is presented with local support from the Sempra Energy Foundation.

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