WMU Home > WMU News

WMU News

WMU News on Twitter

National race exhibit opens in Kalamazoo

Sept. 21, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Race as a sociological phenomenon rather than a biological fact is explored in a national touring exhibit coming to Kalamazoo Saturday, Oct. 2. Western Michigan University and the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, part of Kalamazoo Valley Community College, are collaborating to bring "RACE: Are We So Different?" to the museum for three months.

Artwork from Race Exhibit.Through film, still photography, interactive components and programming, the exhibit invites people to explore race as well as the impact of race as an economic, political and cultural construct. It will be hosted by the Kalamazoo Valley Museum downtown through Jan. 2.

The exhibit was created by the Science Museum of Minnesota, in conjunction with the American Anthropological Association, to educate the public and be a catalyst for discussions about race. It explores 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.

Throughout fall and winter of 2010-11, with support from the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, WMU will be working in partnership with community groups on projects that complement the RACE exhibit and provide the community with opportunities for creative dialogue and healing around race in the greater Kalamazoo area.

'YWCA Kalamazoo Summit on Racism'

The "YWCA Kalamazoo Summit on Racism," will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, in the Radisson Plaza Hotel in downtown Kalamazoo. Registration starts at 8 a.m. The event will feature Dr. John Powell, executive director of the Kirwan Institute at Ohio State University. He is an internationally recognized authority in the areas of civil rights, civil liberties, and issues relating to race, ethnicity, poverty and the law.

The summit will focus on annual reports from the three initiatives--employment, housing and education--which work on creating ways to reduce or eliminate racism in their subject area.

Register at ywcakalamazoo.org or (269) 345-5595.

'In Focus: National Geographic Portraits'

Also occurring in the fall simultaneous with the display of the RACE exhibit will be a portrait exhibit, "In Focus: National Geographic Portraits," Oct. 30-Jan. 2 in the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, 314 S. Park St. The free event will run Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays, noon to 5 p.m.

It features 51 of National Geographic's most famous photographs, and it documents human connections to national identity, gender roles, cultural preferences and their surroundings. The display emphasizes that portraits can reflect the similarities of human experience or the physical and cultural differences between people.

'Healthcare, Race and Disparities'

Friday, Nov. 19, a discussion "Healthcare, Race and Disparities" will be held from 8:30 to 10 a.m. in the Borgess Medical Center Lawrence Education Center, 1521 Gull Road. The free event also includes breakfast at 7:30 a.m. The West Michigan Regional Chapter of the National Association of Health Services Executives will lead this discussion of the root causes of health care disparities.

For more information on the RACE exhibit and accompanying events, contact Zarinah El-Amin Naeem, exhibit community coordinator, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, at zarinah.el-amin@wmich.edu or (313) 377-2857, or visit raceexhibit.org.

Related article
Experts discuss the origins of race

Share |

Media contact: Deanne Puca, (269) 387-8400, deanne.puca@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400