Current Special Exhibitions


RACE: Are We So Different?

October 12, 2014 – January 25, 2015

Main Special Exhibition Gallery

RACE logo 2It’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.

RACE: Are We So Different?, developed by the American Anthropological Association in collaboration with the Science Museum of Minnesota, is the first national exhibition to tell the stories of race from the biological, cultural, and historical points of view. Combining these perspectives offers an unprecedented look at race and racism in the United States.

Co-Presented by:



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Monday, January 19, 2015 

RACE-Pioneer Press-1-8-2014MLK Day is the perfect opportunity for parents, children and students to visit our most talked about exhibition RACE: Are We So Different? before it leaves Chicagoland on January 25!

Over 7,700 students have already experienced this premiere, interactive exhibition that examines the idea of race and how it applies to our lives today.

This meaningful family activity allows you to engage with interactive technology that tells the story of race from biological, cultural and historical points of view.

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Race and The Economy: Jobs, Housing, Poverty
Thursday, January 15 | 5:00 – 8:00 pm
Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center

Reservations required:

View full calendar of community programs>

RACE is funded by Ford Foundation and National Science Foundation. The local exhibition at the Illinois Holocaust Museum is made possible by Presenting Sponsor Allstate Insurance Company and Co-Sponsor Walgreens and Participating Sponsor Northwestern University. Additional support is being provided by Bank of America, BMO Harris Bank and the Evanston Community Foundation and Loyola University Chicago. The Golder Family Foundation is lead sponsor for all Illinois Holocaust Museum special exhibitions.


September 17, 2014 – January 25, 2015

Second Floor Balcony Gallery

karksi200x286This exhibition illustrates Jan Karski’s mission of courage during World War II, and his subsequent life and testimony. As an emissary for the Polish Underground state, Jan Karski carried classified information from the Resistance on the ground in occupied Poland to the Polish government-in-exile, first in France and later in England. One of his critical missions was to inform the Allies of the ongoing slaughter of the Jews in occupied Poland. In 1942, in disguise, he twice entered the Warsaw Ghetto and later penetrated a Nazi transit camp to see Jews being herded to their deaths. With these eyewitness accounts, he traveled under an assumed identity to London and later to Washington where, in July 1943, he met for over one hour with President Roosevelt in the White House to inform him about the on-going genocide. Tragically, the Allies chose not to act on his report. After the war, he became a professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service where he taught many future leaders. His wartime memoir Story of a Secret State is a captivating account of his courage and integrity in the midst of unspeakable horror.

Photo: ©Hoover Institution Archives

The Crain-Maling Foundation is the lead sponsor for the Illinois Holocaust Museum presentation of The World Knew: Jan Karski’s Mission for Humanity.

The exhibition was organized by the Jan Karski Educational Foundation in partnership with the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Polish History Museum. Additional funding was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition publication do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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