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“RACE:  Are We So Different?” to open at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History opens an exhibition that confronts the issue of race and racism in the United States—“RACE:  Are We So Different?” encourages Museum visitors to explore the science, history and everyday impact of race. 

The exhibition opens Sept. 27 and runs through Jan. 4, 2009.

Developed by the American Anthropological Association in collaboration with the Science Museum of Minnesota, it is the first national exhibition to tell the stories of race from biological, cultural, and historical points of view.

“This is an amazing exhibition that tackles an issue that’s important to our community and our country,” said Bruce Latimer, Ph.D., the Museum’s executive director.  “It offers a powerful look at race and racism, and challenges visitors to talk about the issue and their own experiences. 

“Our Museum is using this exhibit to create a broader platform to engage our community.  We want to open up dialogue and create thought-provoking programming that extends beyond the exhibit.”

Museum staff is planning a variety of programming, including a series of town hall meetings, lectures, a professional development series, teacher workshops, networking events, and a health fair.

The RACE exhibit is part of a larger public education project from American Anthropological Association 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 Web site, educational materials, and conferences designed to share research and information with the public.

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

_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.
_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.
_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 experience of race in our schools, neighborhoods, health care systems, sports and entertainment industries, and more.

RACE:  Are We So Different?” is included in the Museum’s admission fee:  $9 adults; $7 ages 7-18, college students with IDs and seniors 60 years of age or older; $6 children 3-6.  Special Wednesday evening admission is $5 after 5 p.m.  Group rates for 12 or more are also available.  Shafran Planetarium shows are $4 per person with admission. Museum members receive free admission to the Museum and planetarium.

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History is located at 1 Wade Oval Drive in University Circle, 15 minutes east of downtown Cleveland.  Museum hours are:  Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.  Paid parking is available in the Museum’s lot for $2 per hour or $15 per day maximum when purchasing general admission. 

For more information, call (216) 231-4600 or 800-317-9155.  Visit the Museum’s Web site at www.cmnh.org





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