RACE: Are We So Different?
January 19–April 28, 2013
Organized groups (college and university students, clubs, etc.): Come together and get a special $5 rate! You must call 585.697.1942 to register your group. Also, see below for evening hours.
Lead Sponsor: Rochester Area Community Foundation
Presenting Sponsor: ESL Federal Credit Union
Media Sponsor: Time Warner Cable
Support from: Monroe County
Extensive media partnership programming is provided by WXXI public television and radio and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Like a fingerprint, each person is unique. We are all an exquisite combination of our parents, grandparents, and ancestors, which gives us our one-of-a-kind look. Every person experiences life somewhat differently because of his or her appearance, too. We often refer to it as “race.”
Experience race in a new traveling exhibit at the Rochester Museum & Science Center called RACE: Are We So Different? Explore the stories of race from biological, cultural, and historical points of view. Discover what’s not so visually apparent—hint: we’re not all that different!
Throughout history, human differences have been a source of strength and personal identity. They have also been the basis for discrimination and oppression. While our differences are socially and culturally real, current science tells us we share a common ancestry and what we are really seeing are natural variations, results of migration, marriage and adaptation to different environments. In the exhibit, we’ll reveal the reality, and unreality, of race.
Explore the stories of race through three themes: the everyday experience of race, the contemporary science that is challenging common ideas about race, and the history of this idea in the United States.
Everyday Experience of Race
Learn about social and personal experiences of race in familiar settings such as home, neighborhood, health and education. Race and racism is not just inside our heads. It is built into our laws, traditions and institutions.
The Science of Human Variation
Racial categories are human-made. Humans are more alike genetically than any other living species. This section focuses on what current science tells us about human variation and our species' history.
History of the Idea of Race
Race has not always existed. Sorting people by their physical differences is only a few hundred years old. Discover how the development of the idea of race is closely linked to early United States.
Delve into hands-on activities for all ages! A dynamic 3-D animation takes you “inside” for a close up look at our molecular selves. Scan your skin and see your photo appear alongside the scans of other visitors’ skin, and watch a colorful mosaic of skin tones appear before your eyes. Also, challenge yourself! Match voices you hear with photos of people of different races to see if you can identify a person’s race by their speech.
Talking about race often isn’t easy, though that’s exactly what we’re doing through RACE: Are We So Different? Those conversations will be an important
step in changing our ideas about race and racism.
In addition, we will proudly fund visits for more than 2,500 school students, and also provide materials for school curricula.
RACE: Are We So Different? is developed by the American Anthropological Association in collaboration with the Science Museum of Minnesota.
Experience RMSC's new Culture and Community Sundays program. This program features cultural celebrations expressed through voice, dance and the spoken word. Click here for more information.
Attention Teachers! Click here for more information on this exhibition.
The RMSC is open seven days a week.
Regular hours are extended on selected dates for visitors’ convenience. The exhibition is open from 9am–9pm on Thursdays, January 31, February 14, February 28, March 14, March 28 and April 25. Click here for the complete holiday hours schedule.
Free with regular Museum admission:
$12 seniors and college students with ID
$11 ages 3 to 18
Free for RMSC members and children under 3
To reserve your organized group, call 585.697.1942. Group rates are $5 per person.
Shadows of the Lynching Tree
a film by Carvin Eison
April 18: 7-9pm
Sponsored by Facing Race, Embracing Equity and Carvin Eison
at the Rochester Museum & Science Center Eisenhart Auditorium
The film depicts some of the bleakest examples of violence and dehumanization in the history of humankind.
FREE to the public
- Hands-on Interactive: An interactive game about the traits people share yields surprising results that challenge visitors to reconsider the ways in which they categorize people.
- Piles of Cash: Stacks of money serve as powerful emblems of the economic inequity found in the United States. Throughout Race, components like this draw visitors into conversations that connect their personal experiences with ideas encountered in the exhibition.
- Slave Shackles: Historical objects such as this--slave shackles from the early 1800s--provide a visceral reminder of the powerful and often devastating role that the idea of race has played throughout American history.
Facing Race, Embracing Equity
Rochester Racial Equity Initiative
In connection with the exhibit, Facing Race, Embracing Equity was born locally. This initiative is designed to promote awareness about racial issues in Rochester and foster meaningful conversations about how we can substantially improve our understanding of each other, identify pathways to alleviate structural inequity, and reduce disparities that exist in our community.
Join us, along with the Rochester Area Community Foundation, ACT Rochester, Rochester Initiative for Structural Equality (RISE) Coalition, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Action for a Better Community (ABC), Rochester City School District, and several other community partners as we create programs and events to make a difference. Discover more at faceraceroc.org.
A special thank you to the Rochester Area Community Foundation for the major grant awarded to us to bring this exhibition directly to you.