Multicultural Community Dialogue Encourages Discussion Around Implicit Bias
Posted 11/05/2018 04:01PM

Hosted by the Parent Multicultural Collaborative (PMC) and facilitated by Director of Equity and Inclusion Rasheda Carroll; and Multicultural Leadership Team (MLT) current and former members (including Sandi Crozier, Monique Marshall, Clarissa Quintero, and Michelle Simon), the Multicultural Community Dialogue provided a safe and welcoming space for parents to learn about and discuss implicit bias. Parents dove into how implicit bias affects their personal and interpersonal relationships and thought about how to recognize it and lessen its impact.

The evening began with an overview of multiculturalism and the dimensions of self (the parts of a person's identity), and a set of guidelines to create a safer space for communicating across difference. Parents participated in a "common ground" exercise facilitated by Monique Marshall, which invited parents into a large circle where they had the opportunity to share an aspect of their own identity as they stepped into a smaller circle, with others joining them if they shared the same identity. Following a presentation on implicit bias, parents then used their personal social circles as data to examine trends that may reflect implicit bias. Using the “Proximal Relationship Matrix," parents identified patterns that emerged around the dimensions of self-model (age, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic class, education, and other dimensions). In pairs, parents reflected on areas of success and opportunities for growth with regarding potential implicit bias.

After further reflection on research that has shown that even limited contact across difference can reduce bias, parents considered ways to “get proximate” and make meaningful contact with those who identify differently than them. The conversation continued as they considered how expanding their own social circle could affect their child's social group and the school community at large. In closing, parents were encouraged to continue their work on implicit bias by examining patterns in their life, taking the Implicit Association Test (IAT) test, and participating in affinity spaces for support, learning, and growth. Parents expressed gratitude for Wildwood's multicultural programming, as well as hope and excitement about their insights and learning. 

Contact Director of Equity and Inclusion Rasheda Carroll if you have questions.