LONDONDERRY — Neighborhood Connections will host a three-part film series that challenges the idea of race as biology and traces current notions to the 19th century. The films will be shown at 4 p.m. on three consecutive Thursdays, beginning August 6, and can be watched in-person or via Zoom. A Q&A will follow each film.
"We at Neighborhood Connections recognize that a Black Lives Matter statement is not enough," said Nicole Wengerd, the agency's executive director. "It is our hope that you will join us in taking further steps to educate ourselves and engage in meaningful dialogue by attending this series." The first film in the series, "The Difference Between Us," examines 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.
"The Story We Tell," which will be shown on Aug. 13, uncovers the roots of the race concept in North America. This is an eye-opening tale of how race served to rationalize, even justify, American social inequalities as "natural."
The series will conclude on Aug. 20 with "The House We Live In," a film that asks "If race is not biology — what is it?" This episode 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 white people. Called "Race — The Power of Illusion," the series "asks a question so basic, it's rarely raised — what is this thing we call race?" organizers said in a release announcing the series. "It also demonstrates how race nevertheless has a continuing impact through institutions and social policies. Millions of people have used the film to scrutinize their own deep-seated beliefs about race and explore how our social divisions are not natural or inevitable, but made." Neighborhood Connections is a community-based non-profit social services agency serving individuals and families in area mountain towns of south-central Vermont. For more information, visit neighborhoodconnectionsvt.org.