National Campaign to Combat Implicit Bias Seeks to Determine Origins and Solutions to Racism
Today a nationwide coalition of more than 15 organizations, including Everyday Democracy and the Southern Poverty Law Center, has launched the “Campaign to Combat Implicit Bias”, a campaign to raise public awareness about implicit bias and to encourage action to combat its impact. The Within Our Lifetime Network, the campaign sponsor, is a network of racial healing practitioners and racial equity advocates who are committed to ending racism. We heal communities, dismantle beliefs and advocate for just policies. The campaign is encouraging everyone to take an implicit association test to see if they have unconscious biases and then participate in activities that help unearth solutions. The campaign while national is focusing on eight local communities where residents can participate in localized activities. These areas include the Greater New England and Boston area, Washington, D.C., Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama, New Orleans and Mississippi, Bloomington, Indiana, St. Louis, Missouri, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Los Angeles County.
“The recent killing of Michael Brown and subsequent protests in Ferguson, MO at the forefront of our minds and the tragedy of Trayvon Martin a not so distant memory, race and racism are once again in the headlines across the country. While many people often answer the question ‘is everyone a little bit racist?’ with a quick “NO”, recent research suggests the problem is not so much overt racists rather unconscious attitudes that result in discriminatory policies and behavior,” says Dushaw Hockett Executive Director of SPACES a founding member of the campaign.
We encourage everyone to first take the test at Project Implicit http://bit.ly/1nsczDd and then participate in local dialogues sessions to discuss:
- How people unconsciously and sometimes unwillingly exhibit bias toward other individuals and groups.
- How implicit bias reveals itself in different ways, such as by the words we use to express our feelings and behavior toward people of color.
- Unconscious mechanisms that are deeply embedded in various aspects of our lives, including health care, education, and our criminal justice system.
- And, how we can come together to dismantle racism.
“Implicit Bias affects everything, when you think about our social institutions (i.e. churches, schools, 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.”
For more information about the Within Our Lifetime Network and the campaign, including ways in which you can participate, please visit www.withinourlifetime.net