The Smithsonian Institution, committed to leading and encouraging civil dialogue on important issues facing our nation and the world, is preparing a community engagement project called The Bias Inside Us. The project’s goal is to help visitors understand and counter their implicit biases and build capacity in communities to convene dialogue that will increase empathy and create more inclusive schools, communities, and workplaces.

The four-year project, developed with a national advisory council and Smithsonian experts, is a community engagement effort that will consider the connections between implicit bias and group dynamics, how they can lead to explicit acts of bias and hatred by individuals and whole societies, and what we as individuals can do about it. Communities will participate in The Bias Inside Us process to assess their own readiness to engage in the project and develop proposals to show how this project will be used to build capacity. Ten communities will be selected; a Smithsonian-led project team will work with community leaders and teachers to develop a customized plan for community-initiated programming. A Smithsonian exhibition will be the centerpiece of local activities for four weeks, free of charge, to allow for in-depth programming, as well as to allow surrounding communities to participate. When the exhibition moves to the next community, the Smithsonian will remain engaged to provide resources and support as communities continue to explore ways to reduce individual and group bias and increase community empathy. The primary audience for the exhibition is middle school to young adults (11 to 25-year olds).

The Bias Inside Us exhibition will be available for hosting in our Midwest region (Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin) from June 2020 through May 2021.  We will be accepting proposals from communities in the Midwest to host this exhibition until January 15, 2020. Proposals are accepted online using this form. For hosting dates past May 2021, to include the Southeast, Southwest and Northeast, information will be updated as it becomes available.

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