SKOKIE, IL – October 6 -The Illinois Holocaust Museum will be among select museums in the country to confront the issue of race and racism in the United States when the cutting-edge exhibition RACE: Are We So Different? opens on October 12, 2014. Developed by the American Anthropological Association in collaboration with the Science Museum of Minnesota, this is the first national exhibition to tell the stories of race from the biological, cultural, and historical points of view.

Today, scientists are beginning to challenge “racial” differences, and even question the very concept of race. RACE: Are We So Different? presents the reality-and unreality-of race using interactive components, multimedia presentations, and attractive graphic displays to offer visitors an eye-opening look at its important subject matter.

“The idea of ‘race’ has been used historically to justify mistreatment of people and even genocide,” said Susan Abrams, CEO at the Illinois Holocaust Museum. “The promotion of human rights is a vital part of the mission of the Illinois Holocaust Museum, and so, we are thrilled to host RACE, an exhibition that challenges visitors of all ages and backgrounds to discover how race operates in their lives.”

Amplifying this exhibition is a calendar of more than two-dozen public programs – Scholar Series, discussions, performances – to engage the public in examining race through various lenses.

“Racial Justice programming is a core element of the YWCA Evanston/North Shore’s work,” said YWCA Evanston/North Shore CEO Karen Singer. “This unique partnership provides an opportunity not only to expand the conversation, but also to support others in deepening their understanding of how this socially-constructed notion of ‘race’ impacts us all.”

The exhibition opening event for RACE: Are We So Different will take place on October 12 beginning at 11:00 a.m. at the Illinois Holocaust Museum. During the event, families are invited to experience the exhibition, participate in Talking Circles and enjoy a performance by the Evanston Children’s Choir. To learn more, visit www.ilholocaustmuseum.org/events or call 847-967-4800.

RACE: Are We So Different? is funded by Ford Foundation and National Science Foundation. The exhibition at the Illinois Holocaust Museum is made possible by Presenting Sponsor Allstate Insurance Company and Co-Sponsor Walgreens. Additional support is being provided by Participating Sponsor Northwestern University, Bank of America, BMO Harris Bank, Evanston Community Foundation and Loyola University Chicago. The Golder Family Foundation is lead sponsor for all Illinois Holocaust Museum special exhibitions.

The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Holocaust by honoring the memories of those who were lost and by teaching universal lessons that combat hatred, prejudice and indifference. The Museum fulfills its mission through the exhibition, preservation and interpretation of its collections and through education programs and initiatives that foster the promotion of human rights and the elimination of genocide. The Museum is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.; Thursday evenings until 8:00 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Learn more at www.illinoisholocaustmuseum.org .

*Beginning November 1, 2014, the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center will have extended hours on Saturdays and Sundays. The new Museum weekend hours are 10 AM – 5 PM.

Dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women, the YWCA Evanston/North Shore seeks to raise awareness of the issues of racial and gender equity and to affect real change in our communities. Focused on racial justice programming, domestic violence services, women’s economic empowerment and leadership, violence prevention programming, and empowerment through aquatics, the YWCA Evanston/North Shore seeks to eradicate the barriers that perpetuate racism and sexism. Learn more at: www.ywca.org/evanston.