The Bias Inside Us

June 3 through July 2, 2023

On view in the Rotunda

Overview

Bias:  prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair

Each of us holds various forms of bias… it is part of our DNA as human beings.  We prefer one food, one season, or one color over others.  These biases, known as implicit or unconscious biases, have developed over time as an efficient way for our brains to filter, sort, and process the 11 million pieces of information we are exposed to at any given moment. While this process is necessary, our brains have become too good at sorting information and filtering it into categories resulting in automatic and unintentional judgments that often adversely affect decisions and behaviors.

This exhibition, created by the Smithsonian traveling exhibition service, centers on the theme of implicit bias and has three goals: to help people understand and counter their implicit biases, to help build capacity in communities to convene dialogue that will increase empathy, and to inspire more inclusive schools, communities, and workplaces.

The Secretary of the Smithsonian, Lonnie G. Bunch, writes about this project, “Since our founding, the Smithsonian Institution has explored the question of what it means to be an American.   That means not only celebrating our accomplishments and achievements but also confronting the entirety of our past as a nation and helping us remember the forgotten.  The voices and stories of many of us were omitted from our national narrative, and we see the impacts of this systemic pattern in the challenges we face today…this project helps people to recognize their capacity for bias, to understand it as a scientific process, to learn ways to “check your bias,” and to counter its negative influences.”

The exhibition, presented at MMFA in conjunction with the Mayor’s Young Professional Council, is a part of the Museum’s commitment to become a cultural anchor for the city of Montgomery and to center the needs of our community members in all that we do. Through opportunities like this, we further our goal of fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, and access through the Museum’s programs, collections, and exhibitions.

“Since our founding, the Smithsonian Institution has explored the question of what it means to be an American.   That means not only celebrating our accomplishments and achievements but also confronting the entirety of our past as a nation and helping us remember the forgotten.  The voices and stories of many of us were omitted from our national narrative, and we see the impacts of this systemic pattern in the challenges we face today…this project helps people to recognize their capacity for bias, to understand it as a scientific process, to learn ways to “check your bias,” and to counter its negative influences.”

 

-Lonnie G. Bunch, Secretary of the Smithsonian

Organizer

The Bias Inside Us is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). 

Sponsor

Support for this exhibition was provided, in part, by the Mayor’s Young Professional Council.

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