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« 16th Annual White Privilege Conference | Main | 16th Annual White Privilege Conference »
Wednesday
Sep092015

16th Annual White Privilege Conference

Beth co-presented a day-long institute on Implicit Bias. Implicit Bias, as defined by Racial Equity Tools, "is a concept based on an emerging body of cognitive and neural research. It identifies ways in which unconscious patterns people inevitably develop in their brains to organize information actually affect individuals attitudes and actions, thus creating real-world implications, even though individuals may not even be aware that those biases exist within themselves. "Implicit Bias affects everything, when you think about our social institutions (i.e. churches, schools, universities, hospitals, recreational parks, families, law enforcement, local and national government). Practices are developed based on unconscious biases. At this day and age, the growth of our communities depend on unearthing unconscious biases and providing solutions to work together. Recognizing our own implicit bias is an important start on our individual journeys to heal from internalized oppression and superiority, and to organize systemically to improve the human condition. It helps us to understand how people unconsciously and sometimes unwillingly exhibit bias toward other individuals and groups. Raises awareness about how implicit bias reveals itself in the words we use to express our feelings and behavior toward people of color. While it is important to state that implicit bias is only one piece of a broader set of understanding about how bias, racism and privilege operate systemically and together, implicit bias research demonstrates individual neural associations can be changed through specific practices of "debiasing", and, if those biases can be changed at the individual level we have hope with sufficient time will and investment they can also change at the societal level. Our learning objectives for the institute include: 1) raising awareness of Implicit Bias through utilizing the IAT Implicit Association Test; 2) learning how Implicit Bias can reveal itself in different ways, such as by the words we use to express our feelings and behavior toward people of color; 3) Understanding Implicit Bias can help free us from guilty feelings about the embedded nature of racism in our society. It can help us recognize that individually we may not be to blame, but that we are all responsible and accountable for confronting racist policies and behaviors. Our institute will help participants through a highly interactive experience and offer action-oriented, concrete takeaways about how to leverage awareness of Implicit Bias and how to apply this new knowledge to racial and social justice work in the South and across the United States.