In consultation with the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, the Discovery Centre in Halifax recently opened its new exhibition, Behind Racism: Challenging the Way We Think. The experiential exhibition looks at individual accounts of lived experiences of racism, and through various activities explores the science behind biases that contribute to discrimination. The goal is to “help visitors recognize biases, challenge prejudices, combat racism, and appreciate differences.” Our Grade 9 leadership class attended on Wednesday, November 16, as they explored the exhibition, and the feedback was very positive.
I had a good conversation with Destiny States ‘26 from the 9-B class who shared some meaningful reflections. She enjoyed the interactive nature of the games and, through the lens of science, discovered that everyone seems to have biases. Listening to first-hand experiences of racism and how individuals successfully overcame challenges was both interesting and thought-provoking for her. One of Destiny’s favourite displays was one which promoted meditation to end racism. She explained that mindfulness involves taking a deep breath, slowing things down and “although it may seem silly, it could help us reduce our biases.”
Destiny made connections between the Discovery Centre exhibition and her KES experience. She shared a quote from Mr. Rory Campbell’s English class: “Be curious, not judgemental,” a recurring theme for her as she explored the display. She also shared that her class is currently reading Mark Haddon’s novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and its focus on challenges was one that she thought about as she viewed the Behind Racism exhibition. Although Destiny believes that racism is an issue in Canada and that discussions can be difficult, she says they are not ones to shy away from.
From all perspectives this exhibition inspired conversation and encouraged everyone to pay attention to what we do to one another. With our core values of dignity and respect foremost in our minds, we can make much progress.