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Smithsonian Community Engagement Project on Implicit Bias Now Open at Cape Fear Museum

Posted September 26, 2022 at 10:39 am     Category: NewsMuseum

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. — Cape Fear Museum of History and Science will host the “The Bias Inside Us” beginning September 24, 2022, through October 23, 2022. The community engagement project from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) will raise awareness about the social science and psychology of implicit bias, the impact of this bias and what people can do about it.

“The Bias Inside Us” features a traveling exhibition that serves as the centerpiece for local programs and activities. Through compelling images, hands-on interactives and powerful testimonials and videos, the exhibition unpacks and demystifies the concept of bias. The exhibition features six sections: Introduction, The Science of Bias, Bias in Real Life, Serious Consequences—Bias is All Around Us, #RetrainYourBrain and Personal Reflection.

Visitors will explore the foundational blocks of bias, the psychology of how it forms and how it influences behaviors both consciously and unconsciously. Interactive elements display how implicit and explicit bias show up in the world and how bias influences systems and policies that have consequences for many people and communities. One interactive experience invites visitors to think about the how bias is reflected in product design, advertising, architecture and technology. Among the videos in the exhibition is a series that features eight voices from diverse perspectives sharing personal experience with bias.

The exhibition also features Spanish photographer Angélica Dass’ Humanae project, which reflects on the color of skin that challenges the concept of race. In this work, Dass documents humanity’s true colors through portraits, rather than the labels “white,” “red,” “black” and “yellow.”

“Bias is part of being human,” said Myriam Springuel, director of SITES and Smithsonian Affiliations. “Our goal through ‘The Bias Inside Us’ is to help individuals understand and counter their implicit bias and help communities thrive through conversation and greater understanding.”

Cape Fear Museum will host a free talk on Sunday, October 2, 2022, at 2 pm. UNCW’s Dr. Kent Guion will present an overview of the science of bias to help visitors recognize and understand bias, how it affects all aspects of life, and how to identify and address it. Visitors will also have the opportunity to explore the Smithsonian traveling exhibition.

“The Bias Inside Us” draws from the scientific research and educational work by psychologists Mahzarin R. Banaji of Harvard University and Anthony G. Greenwald, professor emeritus at the University of Washington. They defined the term “implicit bias” through their work on unconscious and conscious mental processes. Their book Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People (Delacorte Press, 2013) explores the biases people carry based on their exposure to cultural attitudes on areas such as gender, race, social class and disability status.

Major support for “The Bias Inside Us” is provided by the Otto Bremer Trust. Additional support provided by Acton Family Giving, Anonymous donors, The Beverly Foundation, Steve and Sheri Lear, Target, the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation, Thomson Reuters, Alabama Power Foundation, Allianz of America, Valerie E. and William A. Anders, Atlanta Gas Light Foundation, Julie and David Burton, the Dreier Family, Lennart Ehn and Ginger Lew, Expedia, Trevor and Melissa Fetter, the Roger S. Firestone Foundation, Brenda J. Gaines, Myra Hart and Kent Hewitt, Charlie and Nancy Hogan, Judy and Bob Huret, Dr. Christine C. Jenkins and Mr. Pierre A. France, KNOCK, inc., Sarah Lawer and Frank Guanco, Leaders Forum, Kathleen Mason, Elyse Rabinowitz and Jim Porter, Dr. Philip S. and Alice Hoolihan Randall, Gloria del C. Rodriguez, the Family of Leona Roen, and Naoma Tate.

“The Bias Inside Us” is based on an original concept developed by Tolerance in Motion: Steve Lear, Laura Zelle and Elyse Rabinowitz, founders; Ellen Glatstein, Laura Lipshutz, Alice Randall, Joanne Jones-Rizzi and Susan Shapiro, directors; Don Shelby, founding advisor; and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, Steve Hunegs, executive director.

The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and Smithsonian Affiliations are critical national outreach units at the Smithsonian Institution. For more than 70 years, SITES has been connecting Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science, and history. Smithsonian Affiliations establishes and maintains the Smithsonian’s long-term partnerships with museums, educational organizations, and cultural institutions in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Panama. Together, SITES and Affiliations share the Smithsonian’s vast resources with millions of people outside Washington, D.C. Visit sites.si.edu and affiliations.si.edu for more information.

Cape Fear Museum of History and Science, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is located at 814 Market Street and is open Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Standard admission prices are $8 for adults; $7 for seniors, students and military with valid ID; $5 for children 6-17; and free for children 5 and under and for museum members. New Hanover County residents’ free day is the first Sunday of each month. Cape Fear Museum is also a proud partner of Museums for All and offers free admission to SNAP benefit recipients when they present an EBT card. More information: www.capefearmuseum.com.

New Release Contact: Barbi Baker, bbaker@nhcgov.com, 910-798-4367

814 Market Street • Wilmington, NC 28401 • Phone 910-798-4370 • Fax 910-798-4382
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