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Black History Month is a time to reflect on the effects of race and racism in the United States. Yet as we as a nation discuss tolerance and celebrate diversity, we often fail to ask a basic question: What is race?
On Saturday, February 2, the American Anthropological Association’s award-winning RACE: Are We So Different? traveling exhibition opens at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ to answer this question and more.
“The American Anthropological Association is proud to display the RACE exhibit in the diverse New Jersey-New York metropolitan area. The symbolic location of the exhibit – across the shore from the Statue of Liberty – provides the ideal setting to discuss race and its legacy in the United States,” said AAA President Setha Low.
The exhibit, developed with the Science Museum of Minnesota, explores the science, history and lived experience of race and racism in the United States. By using interactive exhibit components, historical artifacts, iconic objects, compelling photographs and multimedia presentations, RACE conveys three key messages:
“I think visitors will be surprised by some of the facts and fictions about race. For instance, many people don’t realize that all humans share a common ancestry in Africa,” said RACE project director Mary Margaret Overbey.
Jersey City is the third stop for the RACE exhibit on its five-year traveling tour of 13 US cities. Over 800,000 people have viewed the RACE exhibit and website since January 2007. The popular exhibit is booked until 2012.
RACE: Are We So Different? is part of a larger public education program developed over five years with $4 million in funding from the Ford Foundation, the National Science Foundation and the American Anthropological Association. The program includes the 5,000 square foot RACE exhibition, an interactive website, www.understandingRACE.org, and educational materials.
Liberty Science Center is the New Jersey-New York City region's largest education resource. Motivated by an innovative philosophy and enabled by a $109 million expansion and renewal, Liberty Science Center is bringing the excitement of science to students, educators, families and adults in engaging new ways and establishing a progressive benchmark for the science center field. Visit www.lsc.org to learn more about Liberty Science Center, located in Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ.
For information about the RACE: Are We So Different? program and traveling exhibition, please visit www.understandingRACE.org.