Many of us in the Division recently went through an online training session about breaking the bias habit. Our presenter, Dr. Will Cox, is the founder of Inequity Agents of Change and has over 15 years of research dedicated towards reducing bias, creating inclusion and promoting equity.
We learned how unintentional bias is a habit and that it can be broken. We need the following conditions:
- Motivation to eliminate the habit
- Awareness of personal vulnerability to the habit and how it manifests, to identify the leverage points for disrupting the habit
- Tools to disrupt the habit and replace it with intended responses
- Effort over time to break the habit
We also learned about effective tools to reduce bias.
- Replacing Stereotypes
- Consider Situational Explanations
- Do Perspective Taking
- Broaden Your Input
- Seek Individuating Information
- Think Ahead
- Speak Up When Bias Occurs
If you’d like to learn more, connect with someone who was able to attend the session! One of the tools that we are able to see on a day to day basis in our work is Broaden Your Input. According to Dr. Cox, this is increasing our experience and exposure to actual people’s experiences and complexity through a couple of methods. This includes Contact, which means having genuine interactions with people; connecting ourselves to a variety of Media such as movies, books, blogs, podcasts and other media from people different from you; Increasing representation of underrepresented groups, Images in the Environment.
For more information, visit: biashabit.com.
Upcoming Holidays & Observances
February: Black History Month (US and Canada), recognized since 1976 to remember the contributions of people of the African diaspora. Check out campus events for Black History Month.
February 1: Lunar New Year, one of the most sacred and traditional holidays in several Asian communities (Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Mogolian and Vietnamese)
February 5: Vasant Panchami, the Hindu festival that highlights the coming of spring.