September 22, 2009 - A recent study of the economic burden of U.S. health disparities provides staggering proof that race is a social reality in America, with dramatic and troubling effects. According to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, racial inequalities in health care access and quality added more than $50 billion a year in direct U.S health care costs from 2003 to 2006.
RACE: Are we So Different?, opening October 3rd at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, explores the origins of health and other social disparities in the United States. The exhibit is part of a larger public education project designed to enhance understanding of race, past and present. A key goal of the project is to foster dialogue and create innovative solutions to complex social problems that are part of the racial landscape in America.
RACE Project Co-chair, professor and University of California-Riverside Associate Vice Chancellor Yolanda Moses anticipates the RACE project making a huge impact in Los Angeles:
“I am so excited that the RACE Project is finally in Los Angeles, my hometown and one of the most multi-cultural and multi-racial cities in the world. This exhibit can only widen and deepen our understanding of the science, history and everyday lived experience of race in America. I look forward to sharing the exhibit with the Los Angeles community.”
The project consists of a traveling museum exhibit, interactive website (www.understandingRACE.org) and downloadable educational materials. RACE Teacher’s Guides are in use across the country and new curricular materials are being developed with input from experts from universities and various school systems A dual disc CD/DVD set is also available, and a sample RACE Project video may be viewed online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aaTAUAEyho.
Exploring the science, history and personal experiences of race, this exhibit helps us understand what race is and what it is not. This award-winning public education project produced by the American Anthropological Association, aims to encourage the public to examine the core issues of what race is and how it came to be such a powerful, polarizing, and sometimes harmful reality in America.
The exhibit will travel to nearly 50 US cities, with California Science Center being the first visit to the West Coast.
The exhibit and RACE-related events will provide guests the opportunity to think and talk about one of our nation’s most challenging issues, encouraging visitors to rethink assumptions about race and human variation. Through multimedia, interactive exhibits, imagery and community programming, RACE gives guests of all ages the opportunity to think and talk about a topic that touches our lives daily.
The next stops on the RACE exhibit tour will be Berkeley, California, Lawrence Hall of Science and St. Louis Missouri Historical Society History Museum, in January 2010. Launched in 2007, the exhibit tour was originally scheduled to conclude at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in 2011, but due to popular demand has been extended until 2014. Due to further positive response, a replica of the large exhibit (5,000 sq. feet) and smaller version of the exhibit (1,500 sq. feet) are being produced and will join the tour beginning in 2010.
To learn more about RACE at California Science Center visit www.californiasciencecenter.org/Exhibits/SpecialExhibits/Race/Race.php
To learn about RACE and “unlearning” racism, please visit www.understandingRACE.org.
For a listing of tour dates near you please visit www.understandingrace.com/about/tour.html.
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