Back to all news stories

Exhibitions and Events

Exploring the many, yet common faces of diversity

Throughout history, racial and ethnic differences have been a source of community strength and personal identity.  Yet those differences also have been the basis for discrimination and oppression.

The many perspectives of “race” is at the heart of “Race:  Are we so different?,” developed by the American Anthropological Association in collaboration with the Science Museum of Minnesota. The first national exhibition to tell the stories of race from the biological, cultural, and historical points of view will be on display through May 27 at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History, 1109 Geddes Avenue.

The exhibit explores historically ways used to describe racial differences, and the distorted rationalizations to justify mistreatment of people and even genocide.  In a compelling presentation, the exhibit offers a contemporary scientific understanding of human variation that challenges notions of racial differences, and even the very concept of race.

Prior to the opening, Dr. Yolanda T. Moses and Dr. Lester P. Monts will discuss the exhibit and encourage a broad exploration and discussion of race.  The conversation begins at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8 at Kahn Auditorium, Taubman Biomedical Science Research Building, 109 Zina Pitcher Place, Ann Arbor. TO WATCH A VIDEO OF DR. MONTS DISCUSSING RACE, PLEASE CLICK ON ARROW BELOW.

Dr. Moses, professor of Anthropology and Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Excellence and Diversity at the University of California-Riverside, is past president of the American Anthropological Association.  She is co-author of “Race: Are we so different?”  Dr. Monts is U-M Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Senior Counselor to the President for the Arts, Diversity and Undergraduate Affairs, and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Music.

The talk between Dr. Moses and Dr. Monts is the 2013 William R. Farrand Annual Endowed Lecture and ia co-sponsored by U-M’s Author’s Forum and the Department of Anthropology.  The Author’s Forum is a collaboration between the University Library, the Institute for the Humanities, Great Lakes Literary Arts Center, and the Ann Arbor Book Festival.

“Race: Are we so different?” is a central part of U-M’s Understanding Race Project, an audience engagement initiative including the campus-wide, winter term Understanding Race Theme Semester, centered in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. The theme semester includes participation by all ten public school districts in Washtenaw County, and extensive involvement by community members, nonprofits, government agencies, and other groups.

The Ann Arbor display of “Race: Are we so different?” is made possible by generous support from the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, Ann Arbor Public Schools, College of Literature, Science, & the Arts, David & Andrea Scott, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, Institute for the Humanities, LSA Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, National Center for Institutional Diversity, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, and Washtenaw Intermediate School District.

U-M’s Museum of Natural History is open 9 a.m.-5 pm. Monday-Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and noon-5 p.m. Sundays.

For more information:


Continue Reading