The 2012 lecture series at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts in New Albany will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24, with speaker Agustín Fuentes.

The 2012 lecture series at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts in New Albany will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24, with speaker Agustín Fuentes.

The lecture is titled "What Race Is, and What It Is Not."

Fuentes, an anthropology professor at the University of Notre Dame, has written several books, including "Evolution of Human Behavior" and "Biological Anthropology: Concepts and Connections. He will talk about the makeup of human bodies, culture and history "to debunk the myths of race, demonstrate the realities of racism and illustrate that how someone thinks about, talks about and acts on issues of race matters," according to a release from the McCoy center.

The lecture series is separate from the main-stage season, said Mindy Hayward, marketing director for the McCoy center. She said the topics chosen for the series come from a programming committee.

"(The committee talks) about what events are important and relevant and race is one that came up this year: race and different perceptions of race," Hayward said.

Hayward said the series will include three lectures. The second will feature Michele Norris, an award-winning journalist and co-host of National Public Radio's longest-running national program, "All Things Considered."

Norris' lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 8, is titled "The Grace of Silence and the Power of Words." In her 2010 book, "The Grace of Silence," Norris planned to present racial issues related to President Barack Obama's election. Instead, the book became more like a memoir "revealing her own family's racial legacy and the larger conversation surrounding race in America," according to a release from the McCoy center.

Hayward said the third lecture likely will be in May. The speaker and date will be announced at a later date.

Admission for both scheduled lectures is $7 for adults and free for students. Tickets are available at www.mccoycenter.org or by calling (614) 245-4701. The McCoy center is at 100 W. Dublin-Granville Road.