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Smithsonian Community Engagement Project on Implicit Bias Coming to California Western School of Law

Apr 24 2024
Smithsonian Institution's The Bias Inside Us and California Western School of Law's Centennial logos.
Smithsonian Institution's The Bias Inside Us and California Western School of Law's Centennial logos.

SAN DIEGO (April 24, 2024) -- California Western School of Law (CWSL) announced today that they will host The Bias Inside Us, May 4, 2024 through June 2, 2024. 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.   

Myriam Springuel, director of SITES and Smithsonian Affiliations, said, “Bias is part of being human. 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.”   
Through compelling images, hands-on interactives and powerful testimonials and videos, the exhibition unpacks and demystifies the concept of bias. 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.  
“An essential part of our mission is to create social and economic mobility for our students,” said California Western’s President and Dean Sean M. Scott. “We recognize that bias creates fundamental barriers to that mobility and lies at the root of historic and systemic marginalization in the U.S. and around the world. To be a good lawyer is to recognize one’s own bias and to strive to eliminate bias from the legal system so that justice can be served.”  
Throughout the month of May, The Bias Inside Us exhibition will act as the centerpiece for CWSL programming on the crucial intersections between bias, privilege, law, and justice. On May 9, 2024, CWSL will host an Open House Reception, inviting local educators and city officials to explore the exhibit, setting the stage for broader community engagement on this issue. On May 22, 2024, CWSL will host a panel featuring Professor Emily Behzadi Cárdenas and George Fatheree, in which they will discuss the long-term impacts of bias and racial discrimination on property ownership and what can be done to shift the material conditions of historically marginalized communities.   
George Fatheree is a social impact entrepreneur and trailblazing attorney committed to closing the wealth gap through home ownership. He is most notably recognized for securing the landmark return of the Bruce’s Beach property, marking the first time that the U.S. government has returned property taken by racially motivated eminent domain. Professor Behzadi Cárdenas’s scholarship revolves around the convergence of cultural heritage law, human rights, and social justice. Her recent publication, National Security or National Origin? The Implications of Florida’s Alien Land Law Under the Federal Fair Housing Act, addresses ongoing efforts to codify discriminatory housing practices, exposing the cultural biases that underly them.  
Throughout its run, The Bias Inside Us exhibit will be open to the public Monday – Friday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, and Saturday – Sunday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, on the third floor of CWSL’s main building at 225 Cedar St. Additionally, San Diego and Southern California educators and their students will be invited to tour the exhibit, helping to initiate these critical conversations in classrooms throughout the community.  
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 CWSL installment of The Bias Inside Us is supported by the San Diego Foundation. 
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.  
SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 65 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science, and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play.  For exhibition description and tour schedules, visit  
About California Western School of Law 

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