Implicit bias is how our unconscious attitudes, beliefs and stereotypes affect how we think about and treat other people. When we understand these thoughts, we can choose how we process that information.
The spring of 2020 was momentous, and will hopefully be remembered as a reckoning for our country. A time when a majority of our fellow citizens became more alert to racial discrimination and injustice. In this vain, each of us share in the responsibility to make our communities welcoming, safe and respectful for everyone. To expose and confront racism. This includes taking an active role to make change happen, in all aspects of our lives, to achieve the goal of true equality. The Justice of the Peace Association’s managing member issued a statement on racial injustice where we declared our intention to work for the change we want to see.
The first step to reducing bias is to become more aware of it. With this in mind, JPus encourages each of us to educate ourselves. To talk less and listen more. Let yourself be vulnerable. To have conversations that are uncomfortable. To look within, and explore your own implicit bias. This is not just important for the betterment of our society. It will also help you be a better you. And, a better wedding officiant.
JPus’ Recommended Activities
Following are a series of activities that each one of us can do to begin this process.
- Listen to NPR’s Shankar Vedantam on a Code Switch podcast, How to fight racial bias when it is silent and subtle; He provides a five-minute introduction to understanding implicit bias.
- Take Project Implicit’s Implicit Association Test on race to better understand the subtle aspects of your own thinking. Assessments on additional identities are also available – and we encourage these, too.
- White people, read books. While there are many to choose from, we’re highlighting the curated list from The Sister’s Uptown Bookstore in Washington Heights, NY. Their recommended reading list is posted on Instagram. Swipe left to view it. Then, purchase a book and support this or other Black-owned bookstores.
There is no quick fix to reducing bias and discrimination. Reading a book or listening to a podcast doesn’t mean that we’re done. This is a long, hard journey. Our hope is to walk the path together.