Wonder what all the talk about implicit bias is about? Wondering how to make your faith community or organization more just and welcoming? This free online class will explain the basics of implicit bias—the unconscious attitudes or stereotypes that can shape our behaviors without our realizing. Through a mixture of presentation and discussion we will explore the sources and impacts of unconscious biases, as well as some concrete steps for reducing them. Those who join the class live will have the opportunity to ask questions and participate in small group discussion. There will also be a recording of the session for registrants who want to watch it later.
Why am I offering this? Why now?
I first became interested in implicit bias eleven years ago, in the wake of my mother’s death. I was trying to understand how my mother, an intelligent and politically liberal woman, could have such deep racial prejudices, and how I could make sure I didn’t pass such attitudes on to my children. I threw myself into learning about racism, becoming so fascinated with implicit bias that I almost wrote a book about it.
In the eleven years since, research on implicit bias has grown exponentially. Many organizations are finding it a valuable tool to understand how racism (and other isms) can show up in everyday interactions and decisions. Part of what I find helpful about this approach is that it is not about shame and blame, but about understanding how our minds work so that we can make more conscious choices. I don’t believe this awareness takes the place of working on structural/systemic issues, but it can be one component of making that work more effective.
In the last few years I have seen an increasing number of people wanting to learn about how to dismantle racism, in themselves, in their communities, and in the wider world. My Quaker community is currently grappling with how to do this work, and friends have encouraged me to offer this class as one small piece of that effort.
How does a webinar work? What equipment do I need?
We will be using the Zoom platform, which is pretty simple to use. You can join the class through a computer, tablet, or smart phone. Most devices today come with everything you need, but if you are using an older device and want to test it or your Internet connection, you can do that here. You can also call in from an old fashioned landline, but you’ll miss the illustrations I’ll be sharing. Prior to the class, I will email everyone who registered the exact login information.
I see you have other online classes. What are they about?
We Were Made for this Moment is a four-week introduction to how social change works and how to find your place in it while staying grounded. If you feel you need to do something to resist Trumpism, but you’re not sure what, this course was designed for you! Building a Nonviolent Direct Action Campaign is for those who have already decided that they want to use direct action tactics, as opposed to phone calls and letter writing. You do not have to take my introductory course before taking the campaign course. While the Implicit Bias Webinar is a goodwill offering, these longer courses are part of how I support myself. Please check them out and share them with your community.