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Smithsonian Seeks Exhibition Facilitators

The Department of Outreach and Education at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History seeks creative, energetic and outgoing people to become volunteer Exhibition Facilitators for the RACE: Are We So Different? exhibition. NMNH will host the exhibition from June 18, 2011 through January 1, 2012.

RACE: Are We So Different? is a project of the American Anthropological Association funded by the Ford Foundation and the National Science Foundation. It brings together the everyday experience of living with race, the history of race as an idea, the role of science in that history, and the findings of contemporary science that are challenging the foundations of the idea of race.

The numerous museums and institutions that have hosted RACE: Are We So Different? since it was launched in 2007 have all met with positive responses from their audiences and communities. In every case, volunteers have been central to that success.

Exhibition Facilitators will engage visitors in the exhibition hall and encourage them in dialogue, interaction, and reflection. In doing so, they will enhance visitors’ experience of the exhibition’s interactive and informative elements and enable thoughtful conversation and exchange about the many topics it raises.

The ideal Exhibition Facilitator is an effective communicator who enjoys listening to and talking with people of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds. As an NMNH volunteer, you will receive specialized training from museum educators, scientists, and other staff. Training will cover the content and resources of the exhibition, styles of learning and interaction suited to museum visitors, and methods for facilitating respectful, informed, and even challenging conversations about race, identity, history, and humanity. Training will be on evenings and weekends beginning in early May and ending in mid-June.

For detailed information and to apply online, visit:
http://www.mnh.si.edu/education/race.html

or contact David LaCroix, Volunteer Recruitment and Training Coordinator, at:
RaceExhibitFacilitat@si.edu

To learn more about RACE: Are We So Different? see the exhibition home page:
http://www.understandingrace.org

The Lemon Grove Incident

Readers in San Diego, mark your calendars!

In conjunction with the RACE: Are We So Different? exhibit, the San Diego Museum of Man will be hosting a series of special events highlighting the Lemon Grove Incident.

  • Saturday, March 19th:
    Roberto Alvarez, Ph.D., UCSD, Ethnic Studies, and Director of the Center for Global California Studies, will discuss the nation’s first successful school desegregation court case of 1930, which occurred in San Diego County’s own Lemon Grove. The lecture will provide an overview of the court case in the context of race desegregation in the U.S. prior to 1954 Brown vs. the Board. The presentation emphasizes the role of the Mexican-American and immigrant populations in U.S. school desegregation and features a docu-drama.
    Read event coverage on La Prensa San Diego.
  • Saturday, March 26th:
     The Lemon Grove Oral History Project Team will present a preview screening of a short documentary of the Lemon Grove community in the 1930s, and feature the former students of the 1930s impacted by the court case. Lemon Grove community residents will be present during this follow-up presentation to Dr. Alvarez’s lecture.

For details on these events and other upcoming events at the San Diego Museum of Man, click here.

Can’t make it to San Diego? Visit the RACE: Are We So Different? virtual exhibit.

Humanities at the Forefront of Congressional Vote on National Budget

The Annual Meeting for the National Humanities Alliance took place on March 7, 2011 at George Washington University, followed by Humanities Advocacy Day on March 8 at Capitol Hill. The Annual Meeting was an opportunity to provide concrete ways to exemplify and frame arguments to support the humanities, skills meeting participants would need for the following Advocacy day.

AAA’s Director of Public Affairs, Damon Dozier was featured in a three member panel that exemplified the field of humanities. Dozier emphasized the importance of education through the biological sciences and cultural perceptions o f race. Through the RACE: Are We So Different? public education program, AAA has spurred dialogue across the nation to embrace cultural differences and rethink preconceived notions of race and racism in the United States.

Bill Davis, AAA’s Executive Director, joined NHA’s national delegation that met with congressional members that hold stature within congressional committees. Damon Dozier and Joslyn Osten, Marketing & Communications Manager, joined first-time constituent lobbyist, Hollis Clayson of Northwestern University in meeting with the representatives of Illinois. While all meetings with congressional staffers were fruitful, feedback led to the conclusion that the representatives who have a history of supporting humanities will work out the best possible solution to minimize the financial impact of the national budget on humanities funding.

Although NHA’s Advocacy Day was a success, lobbying for humanities funding cannot be completed in just one day. Congress will be voting this week and in the coming weeks on bills and revisions to settle the national budget. NHA and AAA need your help in communicating the critical need for funding the research and grant-related programming offered in your communities today. Contact your congressional representative now to demonstrate your support for humanities and visit NHA’s website to stay tuned in to the latest budgetary developments.

AAA Online Store

Have you noticed a new look to the AAA homepage? At the very top of the page, there is a little blue shopping bag. With the new AMS system up and running, the AAA online store is back in business! Visit the store to purchase your audio/visual materials and your RACE: Are We So Different gear.

As a member, you can now take care of all your transactions at one time while logged into AnthroGateway. Be sure to log-in today! While you are there, don’t forget to update your member profile under the My Information tab.

Race for RACE

 Lace up your running shoes this April in the Race for RACE.

In memory of Alan Jaffe, the San Diego Museum of Man is hosting their very first 5k run. The race will start and finish in front of the San Diego Museum of Man. The course runs through beautiful Balboa Park.

Sign up now for early bird registration! All proceeds benefit the Monarch School and the San Diego Museum of Man educational programs, aimed at promoting acceptance through education.

For complete event details and to register, click here.

AAA Past President Honored

Congratulations to Yolanda Moses!

Dr. Moses will be honored tonight with the Riverside NAACP Freedom Fund Award for her work with the community and the RACE: Are We So Different? exhibit that was recently on tour at the Riverside Metropolitan Museum. Because of the exhibit’s presence, it “spurred dialogue and emphasized the commonalities among all people” in the community, according to Waudieur Rucker-Hughes, president of the Riverside NAACP.

To read more and listen to the podcast, click here.

Past President Yolanda Moses Speaks on RACE

The RACE: Are We So Different? exhibit opened last weekend at the San Diego Museum of Man. AAA Past President, Yolanda Moses joins Micah Parzen, Executive Director of the San Diego Museum of Man in an interview on KPBS radio show These Days, hosted by Maureen Cavanaugh.

These Days decribes the topic of race as:
The idea of looking into the history and science of race might have been a powder-keg topic for a museum exhibit just a few years ago. But, America’s attitudes and demographics are changing. And at the same time, our cultural and scientific understanding of the different races of humans has improved by leaps and bounds.

 For the complete story and to listen to the broadcast, click here.

Museum of Man opens RACE: Are We So Different? exhibit

Running on the heels of this morning’s video roundup, be sure to check out the San Diego Museum of Man’s RACE commercial:

If you are a member of the San Diego Museum of Man, check out the new RACE: Are We So Different? exhibit tonight at a special member’s only event.

The RACE: Are We So Different? exhibit opens for the general public tomorrow, Saturday, February 12. The exhibit runs until May 15. Check out the San Diego Museum of Man’s website for complete details.

Not in San Diego this weekend? Visit RACE’s virtual exhibit!

AAA’s Video Round Up

A flurry of interesting videos have made their way across the AAA desks this week. Embracing people and race, here are our favorites:

The Anthropology department of the Univeristy of North Carolina – Charlotte is actively engaged in the RACE: Are We Do Different? exhibit that has opened this past week in Charlotte, NC at Discovery Place. Check out these two clips from the local television broadcast News 14 Carolina. The first clip features AAA’s very own Janet Levy. Dr. Levy is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology.

 The second clip features AAA’s very own Jonathan Marks. Dr. Marks is an Anthropology Professor at the University of North Carolina – Charlotte.

 

The next video was highlighted on The Clog, a blog by Charlotte’s Creative Loafing. This blog featured the RACE: Are We So Different? exhibit in a post titled “We’re All Pink Underneath“. To prepare readers for the exhibit, the blog highlights The New York Times video U.S.: Young and Mixed in America.

In this video, The Huffington Post features video footage of one of the last uncontacted tribes in the Amazon. Click here for the complete Huffington Post article.

Do you have a favorite video? Add the video link to your comment. We might highlight it in our next video round-up!

RACE exhibit’s perfect timing

Timing of our RACE: Are We So Different? exhibit could not have worked out better as it opens tomorrow at Discovery Place in Charlotte. Simultaneous to the exhibit’s opening weekend, the American Renaissance’s conference was scheduled to take place at a local hotel. Due to the nature of this white nationalist conference, hosted by the New Century Foundation, the hotel cancelled the conference contract citing concern for guest safety. Local groups, such as the Southern Anti-Racism Network, were planning protests against the conference.

As you may imagine, the organization is quite upset with the lack of support and has turned to the city’s mayor pro tem, an African-American, for support. The mayor has also cited concern for public safety as reason to not pressure its businesses to host the conference. The Foundation’s leader, Jared Taylor, sought a new meeting location but also a public apology from the City of Charlotte for its violation of the organization’s First Amendment rights to free speech. Taylor received neither and the conference has been cancelled.

Mary Curtis of Politics Daily, an AOL original news source, writes:

Probably not on the agenda of Taylor, who said he believes the races have evolved independently, is the newest exhibit set to open this weekend at Charlotte’s hands-on science museum, Discovery Place. In an accident of timing that could not be more perfect, “Race: Are We So Different?” promises 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.

“We all can see that people look different, but modern science and anthropology may alter how we understand and experience race,” said John Mackay, president and CEO of Discovery Place. “Science has demonstrated that humans cannot be divided into ‘races’ based on physical attributes or genes. It’s about the effects of geography and where people live, not categories.”

We hope that the American Renaissance conference attendees and Taylor drop in on the RACE: Are We So Different? exhibit at Discovery Place while they are in Charlotte. Perhaps they might learn a thing or two about the science of race.

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