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Group Training: November 2020 – January 2021

Mar 02, 2021

November: Unconscious Bias

The first Taskforce meeting included introductions and a very educational lecture about Unconscious Bias provided by Osayi Ogieva. Topics covered included what bias is, what factors can lead to bias formation, effects of bias in decision making, how to identify implicit bias and create ways to prevent it from taking over. Some types of bias include:

  • Affinity bias: people tend to like those who are similar to us.
  • Attribution bias: where we attribute certain attributes to certain groups (eg. Assume all Chinese people are great at math).
  • Confirmation bias, where we tend to see only those things that support our beliefs.

December: GBA+

December’s web training for the EDI Taskforce was kindly provided by Dr. Jennifer Braun, associate Professor of Sociology. Gender Based Analysis Plus training is used by employers, faculty, and staff of many government and other institutions to enable understanding and integrate GBA+ into their workplaces.

The scope of GPA+ is huge, since most policies, procedures, and services can be examined for their negative impacts on various groups of people, such as women or gender-diverse persons. It has been discovered that false assumptions can lead to detrimental and costly impacts on some groups of people. To counter this, GBA+ training has been created to promote new programs and policies that advance gender equality.

January: White Fragility

January’s learning included watching this video of Robin DiAngelo giving a talk about her book, White Fragility (2018). The video covers many areas, all surrounding the topic of how white people respond to the topic of racism. A major issue is that many white people do not recognize racism as a systemic problem, and rather see people as being racist (bad) or not racist (good) without identifying the complexities of benefiting unconsciously from the underlying racism existing in our society. This further perpetuates the problem by determining it is not their responsibility to take anti-racist action if they are not racist themselves.

Though this video is lengthy, we encourage all readers to watch it. If this is not a possibility, here is a helpful worksheet created by Robin DiAngelo that summarizes many of the ideas. More helpful resources can be found on her website.