Unconscious bias. We all have it. We usually are not aware of how it affects our reactions and behavior. But the impact is very real when patterns of bias create a climate of discrimination across social interactions and institutions.

It's time to challenge ourselves to reach beyond bias.

Challenge 1: Test Your Bias

The racial bias test at Project Implicit takes just five minutes.  (non-mobile browser required)

To promote awareness about national and campus-level issues relating to anti-Black bias, we are encouraging everyone to the start with the Race Implicit Association Test (IAT), which compares one's unconscious associations between European Americans and African Americans. Once you've completed that test, please explore all of the tests at Project Implicit to become aware of biases around gender, ability, sexuality, religion, and more.

What is implicit bias?

Also called Implicit Association or Implicit Social Cognition, these are processes at work at an unconscious level that shape the way we perceive and judge each other.

Challenge 2: Take Control

Most of us are influenced by unconscious biases that we do not want.  But we don't have to be controlled by them. You've already taken the first step: awareness.  What can we do now?

Think

Consider the overall implicit bias results for everyone who has taken the White-Black race test:
 
Race IAT results: 70 percent have automatic preference for White people / 17 percent neutral / 12 percent have automatic preference for Black people
 
Given this pattern for the population as a whole, how might experiences on campus be different for White students and for Black students? Given similar patterns of bias against other stigmatized groups (any students of color, women, LGBTQ students, students with disabilities, non-Christian students, etc.), how might experiences of students with dominant identities differ from those with marginalized identities?
 
Given this pattern for the population as a whole, how might this affect the experiences that people of different races have with social institutions? ...if this is the pattern among school teachers? ...among lawmakers? ...among voters? ...among police? ...among bankers, real-estate agents, landlords?
Take Notice
How can we practice recognizing bias?

Story Gallery

Make Connections
What social structures shape our biases?

Video Library

Listen

I want people to know that you can’t judge a person by what they look like, so if I’m wearing a hijab, that doesn’t mean you cannot talk to me or you should build a distance.

Last year I went with my friend to a fraternity house to watch the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight. When I walked through the back to get in, someone on the porch called me a chink. I was stunned. I hadn’t heard that word since high school. He laughed and walked inside. During the Philippine national anthem, this same guy started booing and yelling obscenities at the television, calling Pacquiao a dog-eater and vocalizing other stereotypes about the Philippines.

I was just standing on the edge when everybody was singing. And some [CMU] students, they must have just gotten out of class, but they came up and started going “whoop, whoop, whoop,” like you know. With their mouth.

A Native American survey respondent

Me and my two roommates—they’re white, and I’m black. They have their own side of the room, and I have my own side. One day when I came back to the room, there was tape in the middle of the floor.

Reach

Consciously seek new experiences. Harmful biases are formed through repeated exposure to stereotypes and stigmas in our culture. We can reverse or counter these patterns if we make conscious choices.

  • Choose to avoid watching TV shows, playing games, or indulging online spaces that promote negative stereotypes about people of color, women, transgender or queer people, and other stigmatized groups.
  • Expand your mind by seeking out TV shows, literature, and games with diverse, rich, and fully human stories that run counter to those unwanted biases.
  • Push beyond your comfort zone by seeking interactions with people or by choosing to learn more about people who counter your unconscious stereotypes.
  • Practice being mindful of the way that your implicit biases may be shaping your perceptions and judgments so that it does not come through in your behavior.

Don't let bias push you around. Pull back.  If you know your biases favor one group over another, you could try going out of your way to act with kindness, empathy, and understanding toward people that your biases disfavor.

Challenge 3: Share!

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POST
Tell your friends what you're doing to #ReachBeyondBias
TWEET
Spread the word about #ReachBeyondBias
TALK
Find resources for having effective dialogue about bias and discrimination

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