By Chris Bavender
Understanding “Implicit Bias and Dismantling Power Structures” is the theme of a workshop set for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 29 at the SullivanMunce Cultural Center. Led by moderators from the Peace Learning Center, the workshop will examine what implicit bias is, how to recognize it and how to move past it through action.
“(Implicit bias) is defined by the Kirwin Institute as attitudes or stereotypes that are activated unconsciously and involuntarily. They are not the same as biases a person might try to hide because they’re unpopular or socially incorrect,” said Natalie Spriggs of the Peace Learning Center, who will help facilitate the workshop. “Social scientists believe implicit biases are learned as young as age 3 and may be fueled by stereotypes perpetrated in the media or beliefs passed along by parents, peers and other community members.”
During the workshop, attendees will brainstorm steps on what they can do personally or in their families and community to help create change.
“We find if folks aren’t given a chance to brainstorm and create a next steps list, they can leave workshops like this feeling discouraged. We give a safe space for people to explore what they can do to help create change in their own lives and/or in their communities,” Spriggs said. “For example, as a teacher, I may say I want to ensure I have half of the books in my classroom written by people of color. This ensures all sorts of voices are heard. This is a tangible next step I can take. This goes beyond, ‘I want all voices to be heard in my classroom,’ to a doable step to make certain voices are heard.”
Attendees will be asked to complete a small assignment prior to the workshop.
“The results reveal a person’s biases. We unpack this during the workshop. We do not ask people to share their results unless they want to,” Spriggs said. “Anyone can take these tests. They are anonymous and you can do as many or whichever ones you want.”
The cost to attend is $15. To register, visit http://conta.cc/2mRpdvT.