For my Bennion Center Scholars capstone project, I developed an implicit bias workshop for the Inclusion Center for Community and Justice, which is “a human relations organization dedicated to overcoming hatred, bias and exclusionary practices.” They do this through experiential learning, dialogues, fostering relationships, and cultivating tomorrow’s leaders.
Based on my interests in integrating social justice and science to help increase awareness about implicit bias in the community, this was the perfect community partner! I was also lucky enough to have Belinda Saltiban agree to be my faculty advisor. Belinda was the Director of the U’s Office for Inclusive Excellence and has a ton of experience with social justice trainings and managing reports of bias on campus.
It’s important to know that for a while I did neuroscience research on campus because I am fascinated by how all of the parts of the brain work to create all of the wild emotions and actions and thoughts that humans experience. Around the same time, I was growing more aware of how implicit bias could have negative outcomes in nearly every corner of society, from job hiring processes to deciding whether someone receives affordable housing or not.
The bulk of my project involved doing the background work needed to put together a comprehensive and informative and effective implicit bias workshop. There were obviously a lot of factors I had to account for, and I’ll admit that the process took a lot longer than I thought it would. However, I looked at what I was able to put together, and I’m honestly really proud of it.
It’s a really cool feeling to be able to develop a program and then present it in front of a group of people. I presented the implicit bias workshop to youth groups in the community and collected feedback. One thing about implicit bias is, since it happens unconsciously and everyone has implicit biases during one time or another, it is actually pretty difficult to talk about or develop solutions to. It’s really important to be able to get a group of people together in a room and facilitate conversations to increase awareness about a really important issue.
I could go on and on about all of the things I’ve learned about myself and the community, and just about how I’ve met so many wonderful individuals throughout my program. I am so grateful for the Scholars program and everything I’ve learned from it!
For information on how to become a Bennion Center Scholars click here.