In conjunction with the exhibition RACE: Are We So Different? currently on view at the National Museum of Natural History (June 18, 2011 through January 8, 2012) , the Smithsonian is creating programming throughout its various museums and learning centers that supports public conversations about this important topic.
This much talked about, and well-received exhibit explores the topic of race from cultural, historical, and scientific perspectives and provides for positive dialogue and reflection.
The Locker Project
What is race? What does race mean to you? Has your life been affected by race? These are the questions we asked middle and high school students from the District of Columbia Public Schools to reflect on as they created and four lockers that are an integral part of the installation of RACE: Are We So Different? at the National Museum of Natural History. Come see how students at Kimball Elementary School, School Without Walls, Bell Multicultural High School, and CentroNia worked together to create lockers that represent each group's point of view.
Highlighted Initiative Partner
The National Museum of the American Indian promotes cross-cultural understanding through our programs, collections, and exhibits. Spanning over 10,000 years of history and hundreds of indigneous societies in the Western Hemisphere, NMAI holds diversity as a core value. At the same time that we educate national and global audiences about the myriad of Native peoples, we also hold to our common humanity with individuals of all backgrounds. NMAI consistently engages in dialogues with our visitors about the meaning of pluralism in the context of American identity. For this reason, our museum is especially well situated to advance public conversations on the complex yet vital topic of race in collaboration with our partners across the Smithsonian Institution.
While all of our work either implicitly or explicitly cover issues related to race and diversity, we do have an inaugural exhibit called Our Lives: Contemporary Native Life and Identity which clearly speaks to matters of race, policy, and identification. NMAI is preparing a symposium as part of the programming for the Race Initiative which will further delve into the matters covered by the Race Exhibit and also the Our Lives Exhibit entitled Quantum Leap: Does "Indian Blood" Still Matter? This is a scholarly symposium which will open conversation on current thinking about legal codification and sovereignty as they relate to tribal identification. The symposium will take place on September 16, 2011 at NMAI.