Please note that Race: Are We So Different? will be closing at 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 27, for a special event.

The Exhibit

Is race the color of your skin? Is it the texture of your hair? The shape of your eyes? Is it in your genes? IMG_3849

Is race even real?

Race: Are We So Different? explains in clear, helpful language the origins of race and racism, and helps us understand how to deal with them in productive, enlightening ways.

Most of what we think about race is based on myth, folklore, or assumptions unsupported by genetics or biology. No one is free of misunderstandings about race, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Come join us for an eye-opening look at human nature and biology. You’ll leave transformed.

The Museum of Man is a place where dialogue, learning, and exchange forge understanding and personal connections. That’s why — after an initial temporary exhibition — we later permanently installed this award-winning exhibit created by the American Anthropological Society and the Science Museum of Minnesota.

It’s now a platform to engage schools and teachers, the general public, and other groups, in feeling, thinking, acting, and reflecting on race and identity, and to raise awareness, build community, and positively impact the ways in which we treat each other.

Gallery and Dialogue Workshops

To book a workshop, call (619) 239-2001, ext. 67, or email

K-12 School Workshop

During this 90-minute program, students in grades 5-12 will tour the award-winning exhibition Race: Are We So Different? and engage in a small-group dialogue about the ways in which race and ethnicity impact their lives and how they can improve their communication and understanding of differences at school and beyond. The tour aims to teach about the history of race in America, the unfounded scientific basis of race as a tool for division and discrimination, and the ways in which all of our lives are impacted, in one way or another, by race and ethnicity. Each program is led by educators trained in facilitation and sensitive to the needs and concerns of individual groups.

College, Adult, Nonprofit, and Corporate Group Workshop

Bring your adult group to the Museum for a two-hour program on equity and inclusion. Participants will experience the Race: Are We So Different? exhibition and engage in a dialogue facilitated by trained educators. Through this dynamic program, participants will learn about the science and history of race in America, talk openly about identity and ethnicity and the ways it impacts our lives personally and professionally, build trust among group members, and develop tools to continue these important conversations back at your school, place of business, or organization.

Getting the Most Out of Your Workshop


Before Your Visit. Your workshop with Race: Are We So Different? features a gallery experience and a dialogue facilitated by a trained educator. The exhibit connects to Common Core standards of reading, speaking and listening, and history/social studies, as well as National Science Standards.

To prepare your students, explore the resources on the exhibit’s main site, maintained by the American Anthropological Association. There is a wealth of lesson plans on science and human variation, history, and identity and the lived experience of race.

For specific information on museum policies and on ways to ensure that you have a successful trip to the Museum of Man, please read the Group Guidelines.

After Your Visit. Your gallery experience in Race: Are We So Different? is only the beginning of the transformative conversations about race that your group needs to have. Research shows that changes in behavior and cultural and identity awareness only shift if these issues are addressed over time. We invite you to use the following resources and suggestions to further these conversations with your group back at your site.

  • Create regular opportunities for discussion of race, ethnicity and identity in your curriculum.Race-OpeningPostcard-v3-Front
  • Make your classroom a safe space for conversations through posted agreements and standards of communication.
  • Utilize resources in your school, district, or community that treat race and ethnicity as an immediate and real-world issue, including professional development opportunities, community groups, or media.
  • Create opportunities for discussions about race that are not limited to talking: research shows the most effective learning experiences occur with a balance of thinking, acting, feeling, and reflecting. Invite students to create works of art, to respond to film and television programs, to visit organizations in your community to have conversations about race!

Resources About Dialogue and Inclusion

Race and Membership in American History:

The Eugenics Movement Seminar

The San Diego Museum of Man, in partnership with Facing History and Ourselves and the Museum of Photographic Arts, is hosting a four-day seminar for educators, exploring the origins of the concept of “race”, the emergence and legacy of the Eugenics movement, and the role of “race” in public policy that continues to impact the United States today.

What are the origins of the idea of “race”? How did Eugenics shape the way people thought about the differences between humans? In what ways did the emerging science of hereditary in the late 19th and early 20th centuries contribute to historical and contemporary discussions of race? And, ultimately, how have these ideas shaped public policy?

Register Today!

This four-day seminar will take place August 8-11, 2016, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

In this seminar you will:

  • Discover new interdisciplinary teaching strategies that reinforce historical and literacy skills.
  • Explore topics such as race, class, and gender.
  • Visit core exhibits at the San Diego Museum of Man and Museum of Photographic Arts, and learn how to bring students to these exhibits.
  • Receive a free copy of Race and Membership in American History: the Eugenics Movement.

After this seminar you will:

  • Become part of the Facing History educator network, with access to a rich slate of educator resources, including downloadable unit and lesson plans, study guides, and multimedia.
  • Be able to borrow books and DVDs through our online lending library at no cost.
  • Have access to early registration for 2016-17 school visits to the San Diego Museum of Man and Museum of Photographic Arts.
  • Be able to deploy a number of new teaching strategies in your classroom to engage students in critical issues.

Recommended for 8th-12th grade Language Arts and History/Social Sciences teachers.


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