Exhibition on race: Are we so different?

WUSTL helps promote Missouri History Museum exhibit; free to faculty, staff and students through Feb. 27

The exhibition “RACE: Are We So Different?” opened at the Missouri History Museum in January. The exhibition — which focuses on the history of race, the role of science in that history, and race in modern society — is free to Washington University faculty, staff and students through Feb. 27.

“RACE: Are We So Different?” was developed by the American Anthropological Association, the Science Museum of Minnesota and other science and humanities organizations to explore what race is and how it shapes how people perceive others. It opened Jan. 16 and will be on view at the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park through April 4.

The exhibition will feature, among other displays and speakers, the Human Race Machine, which is sponsored by WUSTL’s Office of Diversity Initiatives.

By using an individual’s photograph, the Human Race Machine shows how that person would look as an Asian, Hispanic, Indian, Middle Eastern, black or white person. The Human Race Machine is available at the museum through Feb. 28.

The university also will present two speakers in conjunction with the exhibition.

Tim Wise, a prominent anti-racist writer, activist and one of the nation’s foremost experts on white privilege, will deliver a lecture at 7 p.m. Feb. 23 at the History Museum. Wise has trained teachers, media, law enforcement officials and others on methods for dismantling racism in their institutions. The university will host a reception at 6 p.m. at the History Museum prior to the Wise lecture.

Wise also will hold a workshop for students on campus Feb. 24. The workshop is sponsored by a student group, Mixed, and members of Mixed and other interested students will be invited to participate.

Kip Fulbeck, an artist who uses art, film, photographs and words to explore the meaning of racial identity, will speak in Graham Chapel at 5 p.m. March 2 as part of the Assembly Series. He also will appear at the museum at 7 p.m. March 2.

As a person of mixed racial heritage — Cantonese, English, Irish and Welsh — Fulbeck identifies himself as a “Hapa,” the once derogatory slang word for “half,” as in half-Asian or -Pacific Islander. His “Hapa Project” is an exhibition and book that features more than 1,200 portraits. His talk at Washington University is “What Are You? The Changing Face of America.” Portions of the Hapa Project are displayed at the exhibition.

The Missouri History Museum has held a series of programs and events in the past several months in preparation for the opening of the exhibition. WUSTL faculty and staff have been involved in several of those events.

In November, the Center for the Study of Ethics and Human Values and Olin Library presented “Policing Black Activism,” featuring selections for the Henry Hampton Archive’s “Eyes on the Prize II: A Nation of Law,” following a panel discussion moderated by Sowande’ Mustakeem, Ph.D., a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in History in Arts & Sciences.

Also in November, WUSTL hosted “Is America Really Post-Racial?” which featured five of hip-hop’s leading activists, writers and scholars discussing the topic of post-racism in the United States as part of the first annual “Hip Hop Against Hunger” week on the Danforth Campus.

“We are delighted to have Washington University as our partner in developing programs that supports this important exhibition,” said Melanie Adams, the director of community education and events at the Missouri History Museum. “This collaboration enables the museum and the university to share resources and work together to promote dialogue on race and diversity in the St. Louis region. We are hopeful that many students will visit the exhibition.”

To receive free admission, faculty, staff and students must show their WUSTL ID. Admission to the exhibition for non-WUSTL visitors is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, students or groups, and $4 for children aged 6-12. Children 5 years old or younger are free.

For more information about the exhibition or events at the museum, visit mohistory.org or call 746-4599.