If you’re not attending or thinking of attending law school, you might not consider visiting the California Western School of Law (CWSL). But! Be ye not so biased! Starting this Saturday, May 4, and running through June 2, CWSL is hosting a free, interactive, thought-provoking traveling exhibition, The Bias Inside Us.

A community engagement project from the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), The Bias Inside Us is making its only stop in San Diego County. With many first-generation students and its commitment to changing the trajectory of their lives and those of their families and communities, CWSL was keen to host this exhibition and throw its doors open to the public.

“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.”

Bias is inside everyone. It’s part of being human.

Grounded in research and in partnership with organizations like Facing History and Ourselves, Harvard University’s Department of Psychology, and the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance Project among others, The Bias Inside Us unpacks and demystifies the concept of bias.

While The Bias Inside Us is especially geared toward 11 to 25-year-olds, kids from one to 101 are invited to experience the colorful interactive elements, compelling images, and hands-on exhibits to learn about implicit and explicit bias, how they show up in the world, how bias influences systems and policies, and the consequences of bias in our daily lives.

Open House Reception and Discussion Panel

The exhibition is only in town for four weeks and CWSL has planned two supplementary events focused on the crucial intersections of bias, privilege, law, and justice:

  • May 9: Open House Reception — Local educators and city officials are invited to explore the exhibit and set the stage for broader community engagement.
  • May 22: Discussion Panel — Attorneys George Fatheree and Emily Behzadi Cárdenas will discuss the long-term impacts of bias and discrimination on property ownership and how to effect lasting change. Fatheree is most notably recognized for securing the landmark return of the Bruce’s Beach property in Los Angeles. Behzadi Cárdenas is a CWSL professor known for her scholarship around the convergence of cultural heritage law, human rights, and social justice.

Hours for The Bias Inside Us are:

  • Monday-Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

NOTE: The exhibition will be closed May 24 – May 27 for Memorial Day weekend.

Educators, Parents and Anyone with Bias (which is all of us!): Make it a date 

This traveling exhibition will be here and gone before you know it. CWSL welcomes everyone to take advantage of this fleeting opportunity, but particularly educators, students, parents, and families. Groups and field trips with more than 15 people will want to nab a reservation. To do this, just visit the CWSL website for more information or call (619) 239-0391. Teachers can also access an Educator Toolkit and more information from The Bias Inside Us website.

For learners and curiosity seekers who live too far away or can’t make it in person for any reason — or for those who just want to delve further into the topic of bias — you’re in luck: Here’s The Bias Inside Us Online Exhibition. Hop to it and join the masses working to undo our biases.