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COLLEGE PARK, MD, July 13, 2011 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History has opened the first national exhibition to tell the stories of race, RACE: Are We So Different? The exhibit, which runs through January 2, 2012, offers an unprecedented look at race and racism in the United States.
On the occasion of its annual meeting, the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region hosted a 'Putting Race on the Table' discussion at the Smithsonian and previewed the new exhibit. Putting Race on the Table places the conversation about race on a local level, and invites the community to explore race-influenced inequities in the Washington DC region. Montgomery County Community Foundation advisory board member, Mozella Perry Ademiluyi, was invited to write and share a poem about race during the recent forum. The style of her poem was influenced by Khalil Gibran's classic work, The Prophet.
An excerpt of the poem appears below:
"And a young child said,
speak to us on race...
And she answered:
You are the same beings beneath the layers that cover your hearts and your souls.
For the color of your skin is not what makes you different from your neighbor.
What makes you different is the color of your intentions."
Ademiluyi, a social entrepreneur and author, points out that the recent discussion "shines a light on the contributions of people who look at issues of race through different prisms. People have a different lens depending on their race, age, and life experiences." The Smithsonian exhibition explores the history of the idea of race and how race is viewed today and discusses the findings of contemporary science that are overturning beliefs about race.
Ademiluyi brings an international perspective to the race discussion. Mozella was born in Miami, her father moved their family to Uganda when she was nine years old to establish an international YMCA, and later moved to Nigeria. Ironically, as the only black female in her graduating class, she (and the lone black male) experienced racism at the American missionary high school in Kenya. Mozella was exposed to a range of academic, cultural and social experiences that helped to shape her character and opinions on race. "When you bring people together to engage in a guided and meaningful conversation, it breaks down barriers", she said. "The 'Putting Race on the Table' forum demonstrated that this is just the beginning of a conversation that needs to continue--in organizations, in households and on the street."
About Mozella Perry Ademiluyi
Mozella Perry Ademiluyi is an international speaker and the author of 'Love is a Mountain' - a book inspired after climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with her sisters on her 50th birthday. Mozella has traveled extensively, from excursions to the majestic peaks in Peru and Morocco to seasonal retreats in the scenic mountains of Western Maryland and Shenandoah. She facilitates international storytelling workshops that encourage participants to discover the power of their stories.
She is the founder of Rising Sun Cultural and Educational Programs - a nonprofit organization that focuses on the successful balance of physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual and financial well-being. Mozella is an attorney and a member of the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals; and the Federal Republic of Nigeria. She is also licensed to practice before the United States Court of International Trade. She serves on the boards of the Greater Washington Jump$tart Coalition and The Community Foundation for Montgomery County. She and her husband Adegboyega established their family fund with The Community Foundation in 2008.
For more information about Love is a Mountain workshops and services, please visit: http://www.loveisamountain.com
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