Start a conversation.
How does it feel to consider that you may have unconscious biases? How comfortably do these biases sit with the way you are accustomed to thinking about yourself? Do you think these biases play any role in defining you as a person? Do you think they are likely to have influenced your behavior or choices? What could you do to interrupt or counteract these biases?
How much do you think your biases are shaped by the way people are represented in the media (films, news, books, games, etc.)? Think about a group against which you harbor--consciously or unconsciously--negative associations: what kinds of stigmas or stereotypes can you recall from the way this group is portrayed in the media? What kinds of portrayals do you see of a group for whom you have positive associations? Do those portrayals make it easier to see the group in a positive light? What could you do to take control of the way media influences you? How might each of us play a role in changing these representations in the media?
How much do you think your biases have been shaped by your upbringing? How diverse have your relationships been among family, friends, neighbors, schoolmates, etc.? Think about a group against which you harbor--consciously or unconsciously--negative associations: do you remember being exposed to stereotypes or prejudices towards this group? What choices could you make in your daily life to foster more positive and diverse relationships? How could you respond when someone you know is promoting stereotypical or negative ideas about a group?
What groups are associated in our culture with 'criminal' stereotypes (for example, prone to violence, untrustworthy, aggressive, shady, dangerous)? Do you think the prevalence of these stereotypes makes it more likely that people will view members of this group with suspicion? How might these stereotypes affect interactions among people (for example, in stores, at airports, in the streets, etc.)? How might these stereotypes affect interactions with authorities such as police, prosecutors, juries, school principals, etc.? Are these kinds of interactions take on a typically different character for people who are not subject to 'criminal' stereotypes, and how so? What could you do if you were a bystander to someone being harassed because of these stereotypes (in stores, schools, or by the police)? What could you do in your community to stop this kind of harassment from being tolerated?
Stories and Videos
Looking for some conversation starters? Try out these resources to provoke some dialogue about bias, discrimination, and how to fight it.