Race: The Power of an Illusion (Film Screening)

Rosemary Garfoot Public Library (Cross Plains)

Program Description:

Join us for a viewing and facilitated discussion of the award-winning documentary series by California Newsreel. RACE—The Power of an Illusion is a provocative three-hour series that questions the very idea of race as biology. Scientists tell us that believing in biological races is no more sound than believing the sun revolves around the earth. So if race is a biological myth, where did the idea come from? And why should it matter today? RACE—The Power of an Illusion provides an eye-opening discussion tool to help people examine their beliefs about race, privilege, policy, and justice. 

Episode I – “The Difference Between Us” examines how recent scientific discoveries have toppled the concept of biological race. The program follows a dozen diverse students who sequence and compare their own DNA. They discover, to their surprise, that their closest genetic matches are as likely to be with people from other “races” as their own. The episode helps us understand why it doesn’t make scientific or genetic sense to sort people into biological races, as it dismantles our most basic myths about race, including natural superiority and inferiority.

Race Preview from California Newsreel on Vimeo.

Discussion Facilitator:

Yolibeth Rangel-FitzGibbon (Yoli) is the founder and Executive director of Mosaicos Cultural Enrichment Corporation and a member of the Stoughton Board of Education. Born and raised in Venezuela, she moved to the U.S. in 2000. Her international work and travel experiences instilled an appreciation for the assets people bring from diverse cultures. She established Mosaicos in order to make Stoughton a more welcoming and inclusive community for all.

Mosaicos promotes understanding, appreciation, and inclusion through facilitated conversations about diversity throughout the community and fosters academic achievement among underrepresented students by providing them with academic support and mentoring.


This program is part of the Ripple Project, a year-long series of free public humanities programs focused on equity in the Dane County public libraries. Learn more at www.beyondthepage.info/ripple-project

Race: The Power of an Illusion. Background image: Close up photo of two faces cheek to cheek, one very light skinned with blue eye the other brown skinned with dark brown eye. Episode I "The difference between us" Documentary screening and facilitated discussion. Rosemary Garfoot Public Library. February 15th, 6-7:30pm. (Logos: Rosemary Garfoot Public Library, Beyond the Page, National Endowment for the Humanities and Madison Community Foundation)