Speaking frankly about race and identity in America

The inauguration of the first African-American president was a milestone in race relations, but, to most members of a minority, the judgment that the United States is now a post-racial society is quite premature.

At 4 p.m.Wednesday, Feb. 25, in the Danforth University Center (DUC), WUSTL students and faculty will gather for a conversation about race and identity.

A frank and open discussion about race — the next Assembly Series event Feb. 25 — is a program whose concept was, in part, generated by the inauguration of President Barack Obama. As part of the project, the Assembly Series brought to campus the Human Race Machine, which was set up at the Danforth University Center for a few days last month. Junior Stephanie Chalifour learned what she would look like with different racial attributes.

The Assembly Series event is free and open to the public and will take place in the DUC’s Fun Room.

Representatives from student groups will join Bob Hansman, associate professor of architecture and artist-in-residence in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts’ College of Architecture, and Asad Ahmed, Ph.D., assistant professor of Arabic with a joint appointment in the Department of Asian & Near Eastern Languages & Literatures and in the Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Studies Program, both in Arts & Sciences, in a frank discussion designed to move ideas of race and identity forward.

The student groups represented will be the Asian American Association, the Association of Black Students, Ashoka, Connect Four, the Association of Mixed Students and Pride Alliance.

The goal is to have meaningful dialogue that will produce real insight into the experiences that members of a minority — or people with nontraditional identities — have in the hope that it produces a genuine understanding.

Opportunities for audience participation will be welcomed as well.

For more information on this Assembly Series program or upcoming events, call 935-4620 or visit assemblyseries.wustl.edu.