A Note from the D&I Committee
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Over the past few weeks, many of us have started on a journey seeking resources, facilitating conversations, and searching for answers to questions regarding the significant change needed in our lives, our offices, communities and country regarding systemic racism and various forms of oppression. Recognizing the need for change is a great and necessary first step. So how do we move beyond recognition and into actionable steps we can take?
Biases are the short-cuts our brains make about people before we pause to find out who they actually are. We each have a cultural lens, and it is human nature to assign people into various social categories by instantly recognizable traits, such as age, gender, race, and role. When we take a look further, we see that these categorizations often include stereotypes; overgeneralized beliefs about a category of people, based on our own or even society’s perceptions. Exploring and interrupting your unconscious or implicit biases is a very real place to begin the work of eliminating racism in the spaces you frequent, and becoming more culturally competent.
With the long holiday weekend and a little extra time on hand, we challenge each of you to complete one (or several!) of the Harvard Project Implicit Bias Tests. Even if you’ve taken one before, challenge yourself to another, there are over 15 tests that can help you dig deep into your biases. We tend to avoid our own biases because we are afraid to say or do the wrong thing, or are unwilling to admit we could possibly have biases. Through courage, curiosity and compassion, we can bring about self-awareness by understanding our reactions, snap judgments, and where they come from. Exploring and acknowledging our own biases will allow us to eliminate them with intention.