Friday, 22 November 2019

Baylor University offers a bias training course: ‘If you’re breathing, you’re biased’

Baylor University's Equity Office recently offered a bias training session titled, "If you're breathing, you're biased."
 
"You probably don't even know you have biases," an announcement for the event, which took place last Wednesday, stated. "The problem is that biases are unconscious. As a result, you may be unaware of some of the reasons underlying your actions and reactions."
The session, which was cast as an introductory workshop to "Building an Inclusive Community," is a recurring once-a-month event that is put on throughout the semester as a part of the university's Diversity and Inclusion program, and is open to all students, faculty, and staff.
The Nov. 13 session featured discussion on Howard J. Ross' book, "Everyday Bias," in which the author states bias is "far from simply being malicious prejudgments of others and situations."
Session attendees attempted to define bias, identifying personal and potential biases, and considered the effects of biases in the workplace and immediate community.
Baylor University, a "leading Christian institution with a strong Baptist identity," has developed an expansive Equity Office, which umbrellas several initiatives such as a climate survey, a bias response team, and a presidential diversity council along with its diversity training offerings.
In a statement regarding its commitment to diversity and inclusion, Baylor University said, "We seek to embody Christ's teachings of love and inclusivity across boundaries of racial, ethnic, gender, socio-economic, religious, and other expressions of human difference."

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