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Behind Racism: Challenging the Way We Think

Behind Racism is on exhibit at the WDM Saskatoon from April 15 to June 25, 2023.

This exhibition explores the mental processes that contribute to racism and discrimination. It shows how the processes that can help us think and act quickly can lead to dangerous biases against people who are different from us. This show challenges visitors to acknowledge the role these processes play in their own lives while exploring some of Canada’s history and its connection to present-day racism and inequities.

With help from hands-on interactives, riddles and games, visitors will learn about cognition and perception, including how interference, bias, blindspots and other mental processes can help—or hinder—our ability to understand the world around us.

Behind Racism is organized in three sections:


There are natural, automatic processes within your mind that help you think and act quickly.

The human mind is a prediction machine. Your mind uses attention, association and other methods to help you make sense of the world. It helps you survive by enabling you to think and act quickly—but its predictions can also be inaccurate and are subject to bias, whether you know it or not.

Solve riddles, try the Stroop test to see your mind’s automatic processes in action, play a game to test your bias and more. By gaining insight into your own bias, you will see how challenging it is to notice and overcome your mind’s mental shortcuts.


These mental processes and biases are influenced by societal factors, and they can lead to racism.

The groups you belong to, societal values you hold and norms you are accustomed to can influence the biases and stereotypes you form. In Canada, the biases of the dominant group have also become embedded in the country’s laws and structures, leading to systemic disadvantages for other groups.

Learn about Canada’s history and see current data about hate crimes visualized as an imposing graph structure. Play Plinko, a multiplayer game, to uncover the power of group identity and team loyalty. Plus, listen to personal stories from real people to better understand the true impact of racism in Canada.


You can learn to slow your thinking, notice your own biases and appreciate differences to break the habits of racism.

How can you become aware of your biases? What can you do to combat bad habits and practice slow, critical thinking? By being mindful about the impacts of your thoughts and actions, you can learn to check your bias.

Practice mindfulness, watch videos to examine categorization and stereotypes, and learn why humans can’t be subdivided into races. Finally, share your thoughts about the future with us. Answer questions by plotting your responses on a graph for other visitors to see, or write a personal story about your experiences and hopes for the future.


The Behind Racism exhibition and its tour are presented by:

with the generous support of:

In partnership with:


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