Exploding Conceptions: Race – 04/12/11

Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI) invited CMS teachers to Exploding Conceptions: Race – an opportunity to explore Discovery Place’s Race: Are We So Different? exhibit and to engage in Race Exchanges (please see details below) on Tuesday, April, 12, 2011, from 5:15 to 7:45 p.m.

This event was free and open only to CMS teachers. There is a set limit of 100 participants (pre-paid by CTI), so please be certain you can commit to being present before registering.

CTI wishes to thank the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation for its generous support of this CTI event at Discovery Place.

Are we all different? Or just variations of the same?

While conventional wisdom teaches that there are a certain number of “races” in the world, science has shown that humankind cannot be divided into races or categories. Genetically, humans fall on a continuum – short to tall, thin to fat, pale to dark – and there are no clear places to divide people into groups. Yet historically we have done just that with profound and enduring consequences.

RACE: Are We So Different? explored the science, history and everyday impact of racism. It presented a powerful combination of artifacts, historic and contemporary photography, multimedia and interactive activities giving guests of all ages the opportunity to think and talk about one of the most important and polarizing, topics of our time.

RACE: Are We So Different? was an opportunity for groups and individuals to think about themselves and the way they see others and an opportunity to increase the quantity and quality of conversations about race in our community.

RACE: Are We So Different? helped visitors of all ages to better understand the origins and impact of race and racism in everyday life by investigating race through the framework of science. The RACE exhibition explored three primary themes:

    • The science of human variation
    • The history of the idea of race
    • The contemporary experience of race and racism in the U.S.

Race Exchanges are an opportunity to view RACE: Are We So Different? at Discovery Place and to participate in a facilitated dialogue designed to enhance and deepen the experience by providing time for personal reflection and guided conversation.

Race Exchanges allows groups of individuals to intentionally explore what they see and hear in the exhibition, to examine ideas and perceptions about race and racism and to have meaningful, facilitated conversation in a safe place. Participation in Race Exchanges will show that conversation around a significant, sensitive and divisive issue can take place in our community and that by examining science, history and our lived experience we can create a more positive present and a more promising future.

RACE is a project of American Anthropological Association, funded by Ford Foundation and National Science Foundation.

RACE is presented nationally by Best Buy Children’s Foundation. Major Supporters Bank of America, Blumenthal Foundation, The Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation, Crossroads Charlotte. Media Partners Adams Outdoor Advertising, The Charlotte Observer, WSOC-TV, Channel 9, 90.7 WFAE.