Empathy Lab: Traveling While Black
Richland Library’s My Life Experience Mobile Empathy Lab is one of the first of its kind in public libraries nationally. The lab uses virtual reality (VR) technology and simulation tools to cultivate empathy in our community. Since its debut in November 2018, the lab has addressed immigration, homelessness, living with impairments and racism.
More than 300 people have participated in the library’s empathy lab since its launch. Participants have commented on how realistic and emotional the experiences were. In fact, post-lab surveys show 96 percent of participants believe experiencing another person’s situation through simulation tools could help deepen understanding of many societal issues. And nearly 80 percent of those surveyed believed they will feel or may act differently towards those affected by the featured topics after experiencing the simulation.
Traveling While Black Experience
Released at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, Traveling While Black takes a closer look at the long history of the restricted movement for African Americans as well as the creation of safe spaces in communities. In this immersive and cinematic experience, Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams transports you to historic Ben’s Chili Bowl in Washington, D.C. where you share an intimate series of moments and experiences with several patrons.