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RACE: Are We So Different?

Created: 04 March, 2011
Updated: 20 April, 2022
2 min read

 The Lemon Grove Incident
Saturday, March 19  11am – Gill Auditorium

It’s a simple truth.   People are different.  Throughout history, these differences have been a source of community strength and personal identity. They have also been the basis for discrimination and oppression. The idea of “race” has been used historically to describe these differences and justify mistreatment of people and even genocide. Today, contemporary scientific understanding of human variation is beginning to challenge “racial” differences, and even question the very concept of race.

Currently appearing at the San Diego Museum of Man (SDMoM), the award-winning and thought-provoking “RACE: Are We So Different?” exhibit, brings together the everyday experience of living with race, its history as an idea, the role of science in that history, and the findings of contemporary science that are challenging its foundations. 

On Saturday, March 19, Dr. Roberto Alvarez will speak about historic “Lemon Grove Incident,” the nation’s first successful school desegregation court case.

Dr. Alvarez will provide an overview of the court case in the context of race desegregation in the U.S. prior to 1954 Brown vs. the Board. The presentation emphasizes the role of the Mexican-American and Immigrant populations in U.S. school desegregation.

Dr. Alvarez’s research interests revolve around personal and academic interests that began on the California U.S. – Mexico Border. This includes the continuing study of the settlement and long-term accommodation of immigrant communities along the California-Mexico Border. Applying anthropology especially in underrepresented and minority communities in the United States and the long-range empowerment of local peoples is central to Alvarez’s teaching and work.  Dr. Alvarez is currently Professor of Ethnic Studies and Director of the Center for Global California Studies at UCSD.

The Lecture will begin at 11a.m. in the Gill Auditorium and is open to the public and free with paid admission to the museum.

Located beneath the ornate 200-foot California Tower, the SDMoM is the city’s only museum devoted to anthropology and archeology. With its Spanish colonial and mission style architecture, the landmark building was originally constructed for the 1915-16 Panama-California Exposition. Today, a key focus of the SDMoM is to create and display dynamic and educational anthropological exhibits about people and places throughout the Americas and around the world. For more information on the SDMoM, please visit