RACE Project on Capitol Hill

U.S. CapitolThe American Anthropological Association (AAA) was pleased to hold a symposium, "A New National Dialogue on Race," featuring two days of programming designed to look at the racial issues that America faces in a brand new way. The event, sponsored by the AAA working in conjunction with honorary co-chairs from the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), was held on January 12, 2010 through January 13, 2010 in the Cannon Caucus Room, located in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC.

This two-day program consisted of four robust panels designed to look at race through the lenses of science, history and lived experience and was supported by the display of key elements of the AAA’s award-winning RACE: Are We So Different? national touring exhibit, co-developed with the Science Museum of Minnesota. The programming consisted of symposia that examined how domestic policy initiatives, media coverage, and the advocacy community can begin to shift current perceptions and correct misinformation about the concept of race. This program is part of a larger public education project of the AAA, also titled RACE: Are We So Different?, that is designed to enhance understanding of human diversity and race, past and present. A key goal of the project is to foster informed dialogue and create solutions to complex social problems that are a part of the racial landscape in America.

Race exhibit crowdsAt a time in our nation’s history where our citizens continue to struggle with, and be confronted by, wildly popular misconceptions about race, this landmark event was an important step in continuing a national conversation that examines the core issues of what race is and how it came to be such a powerful and sometimes polarizing and harmful reality in America. Through multimedia, interactive exhibits and community programming, RACE creates unique opportunities to teach and inform the American public about the nature, challenges, and most importantly, the value of diversity.

A summary of the panels can be found on our blog:

For more information about the event, please contact Damon Dozier, AAA Director of Public Affairs at

To view the program schedule, click here [pdf].