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?
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.
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.
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!