Statement from Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III on The Bias Inside Us 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.
The Smithsonian is committed to sharing those untold stories, and to helping communities everywhere confront our past in order to improve our future. We want to ensure that the we come together as a nation to understand bias, how it affects all aspects of our lives, and how we can identify and address it.
As Americans, we share firm beliefs in equity, inclusion, and fairness. We at the Smithsonian are especially pleased to share this project – The Bias Inside Us – which confronts the issue of bias directly. Our 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.
I hope you will consider being part of this project as a supporter, a community leader involved in bringing it to life, a teacher engaging with students, or an individual working with others to overcome systemic problems of inequality. As we help our country remember that which has been forgotten or hidden, recognizing and confronting bias will help us foster constructive dialogues about our shared future in communities across the nation.
Lonnie G. Bunch III is the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian. He assumed his position June 16, 2019. As Secretary, he oversees 19 museums, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, numerous research centers, and several education units and centers.