Implicit Bias Workshop

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Implicit bias was the topic of conversation at the most recent Naperville Neighbors United meeting.

School District 203’s Dr. Rakeda Leaks and District 204’s Jennifer Rowe lead the roomful of participants through different activities on the subject.

What is Implicit Bias?

But what exactly is implicit bias?

“I think when we’re talking about implicit bias it’s kind of those assumptions that we make, and oftentimes they’re unintentional, but we know just as other things such as racism, that the impact can be the same,” said Rowe, 204’s executive director for educational equity.

The crowd then broke off into smaller groups to discuss different biases found both in the media and themselves.

See If You Have Any Biases

Dr. Leaks suggested the online Harvard University Implicit Association Test as a way to identify biases you might not even know you have.

“It helps you to see what automatic associations you make about certain groups of people. And they have lots of different tests you can take,” said Leaks, 203’s executive director of diversity and inclusion. “You can take tests to see if you carry any biases based on gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age, weight or size. There are so many different ways you can look to see.”

Overcoming Biases

Once those biases are identified, the best way to counter them is to branch out and talk to people different than you.

“When you’re extending yourself and able to have real conversations, I think sharing conversations and stories with people – that allows you to open up your perspective a lot more,” said Rowe.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.