Ontario Science Centre exhibition challenges the way we think about racism

Behind Racism

If you could better understand how your brain processes information that can lead to bias and racism, could it impact your behaviour and result in positive change?

Designed and fabricated by the Ontario Science Centre in partnership with the Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF), Behind Racism: Challenging the Way We Think shows how the mental processes that help us think and act quickly can lead to racism and discrimination.

Debuting at the Ontario Science Centre, this compelling exhibition examines racism in Canada and encourages visitors to recognize bias, challenge discrimination and appreciate our differences. Behind Racism: Challenging the Way We Think is now open and runs until April 24, 2022.

The Ontario Science Centre is committed to creating and amplifying work that champions inclusion and anti-racism, which is why we’re proud to partner with Canadian Race Relations Foundation on the development of this powerful and thought-provoking exhibition,” said Paul Kortenaar, CEO, Ontario Science Centre. “We believe Behind Racism: Challenging the Way We Think will spark important conversations that can result in meaningful change.”

Paul Kortenaar

Behind Racism: Challenging the Way We Think examines the real-life effects of bias, discrimination and exclusion in Canada through individual accounts of lived experiences of racism, and powerful statistics that demonstrate how systemic racism continues to harm racialized people.

“Racial biases, labels, and prejudices exist in the form of learned thoughts and actions that come from within,” said Mohammed Hashim, Executive Director of CRRF. “This exhibit serves as a means for individuals to gain a deeper understanding of themselves, how their everyday interactions, behaviours and decisions can impact others, and how to work towards dismantling and dispelling harmful racial stereotypes wherever and whenever they arise in society.”

Visitors will also learn about cognition and perception, including how interference, bias, blindspots and other mental processes shape how we see the world around us.

“Behind Racism: Challenging the Way We Think encourages critical, honest introspection from its visitors – raising awareness of how bias and racism come about and their harmful effects,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “I encourage everyone to visit the Ontario Science Centre to experience this important exhibition and learn about the steps we can take to recognize and challenge racism in our daily lives.”

Behind Racism: Challenging the Way We Think will travel to other venues across Canada including Vancouver, Montreal, Winnipeg and Halifax until September 2023. The exhibition and its tour are presented

Mohammed Hashim

by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation with the generous support of the Government of Canada and in partnership with Mosaic Institute, the Ontario Science Centre and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

The exhibition is free to the public with no general admission ticket required. To visit the rest of the Science Centre including Bug Lab and Planet Ice: Mysteries of the Ice Ages, tickets for visitors and members must be booked in advance at OntarioScienceCentre.ca.