January 24, 2023 (Saint Paul) — “Jim Crow of the North,” the award-winning documentary from Twin Cities PBS (TPT), is featured in the traveling Smithsonian exhibition “The Bias Inside Us,” currently on temporary exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota.
“The Bias Inside Us” is a community engagement project and exhibition. It was created with the goal to help people understand and counter their implicit biases and build capacity in communities through resources to convene dialogue that will increase empathy and create more inclusive schools, workplaces and communities.
The exhibit was created in Minnesota when Laura Zelle conceived of a traveling exhibit that would help people understand bias and tolerance. Daniel Bergin, Executive Producer at TPT, was an early advisor on the project. His experience as a filmmaker and storyteller gave him insight on how to create content that helps people build empathy and understanding across cultures and race. As the project developed, Joann Jones-Rizzi, Vice President of Science, Equity, and Education at the Science Museum of Minnesota, championed the project and connected Zelle with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibit Service team.
The exhibit engages the work of Harvard professors, including Mahzarin Banaji, on unconscious bias. Media is a tool used in the exhibit to show the impact such bias can have. A segment from “Jim Crow of the North” on housing segregation was chosen for inclusion in the exhibit to help illustrate the legacy of unconscious bias.
“It was really cool to be an advisor on it throughout those years. It has been wonderful to see it emerge and evolve,” Bergin explains. “That it came from Minnesota, and that it’s traveling the region and the nation, is something that I think people should note and be proud of.”
The exhibition will be traveling across the Upper Midwest and Southeast Regions of the United States this year, with plans to travel to the West and Northeast in coming years. At each stop, the exhibition is the centerpiece of local activities for four weeks, to allow for in-depth programming, as well as to allow surrounding communities to participate.
The original “Jim Crow of the North” has been followed up with “Jim Crow of the North Stories.” This four-episode, digital-first docuseries began releasing episodes on TPT’s YouTube channel and website on January 16. “Jim Crow of the North Stories” picks up where the original documentary left off. The series continues looking at race, place and the past by exploring the lasting impact of racially restrictive covenants and people taking action to make change.
As Bergin notes, “That’s the power of ‘Jim Crow of the North.’ In different forums in community settings and as an educational tool, it gives people a sense of history as it relates to things like unconscious bias and the impacts of intolerance and racism. Through that education, it can spur action for a different present and future.”
“The Bias Inside Us” is on exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota through February 26.
About Twin Cities PBS
Twin Cities PBS (TPT)’s mission is to enrich lives and strengthen our community through the power of media. Established 64 years ago, TPT now operates as a public service media organization that harnesses a range of media tools to serve citizens in new ways — with multiple broadcast channels, online teaching resources, educational outreach and community engagement activities reaching more than 2 million people each month. Over its history, TPT has been recognized for its innovation and creativity with numerous awards, including Peabody awards and national and regional Emmy® Awards. Find more information at tpt.org.
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