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UW-Eau Claire to Show Three-part Film Series
on Illusions About Race

RELEASED: Jan. 31, 2005

EAU CLAIRE — "Race — The Power of an Illusion," a powerful film series first shown on Public Television stations nationwide in the spring of 2003, will be shown at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire on three consecutive Wednesdays in February as part of a dialogue on diversity for Black History Month.

The film will be shown at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 9, 16 and 23, in the Alumni Room of Davies Center on the first two Wednesdays and in the Wisconsin Room on the final Wednesday.

California Newsreel, the country's oldest non-profit documentary production and distribution center, describes the different episodes this way:

Episode One, "The Difference Between Us," examines the contemporary science — including genetics — that challenges our common sense assumptions that human beings can be bundled into three or four fundamentally different groups according to their physical traits.

Episode Two, "The Story We Tell," uncovers the roots of the race concept in North America, the 19th century science that legitimated it, and how it came to be held so fiercely in the western imagination. Episode Two is an eye-opening tale of how race served to rationalize, even justify, American social inequalities as "natural."

Episode Three, "The House We Live In," asks, if race is not biology, what is it? Episode three uncovers how race resides not in nature but in politics, economics and culture. It reveals how our social institutions "make" race by disproportionately channeling resources, power, status and wealth to while people.

A discussion and refreshments will follow each episode, lasting until 6:30 p.m. Jesse Dixon, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, will facilitate the discussions.

"This series fills in some of the gaps that were left out of school history books," said Dixon. "It offers an explanation as to how and why the concept of race has played such a pivotal role in the history of the United States."

For more information, contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs at (715) 836-3367.

-30-

NW

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