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September 14, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Blocks spelling out equity/equality
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Implicit Bias: The Equal Opportunity Virus

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

In part 3 in our series on equity, Mary Bacon, Ph.D. will explore how our unconscious associations get in the way of our public embrace of the concept of equity.

How often have we asked ourselves: “Where did that comment come from?” or “Why did I do that?” when we noticed ourselves thinking or behaving in a manner that was inconsistent with what we say we believe?  Most of us find ourselves at times making unwarranted assumptions about people from other groups—assumptions that may influence how we evaluate or treat them, without being clear about the source of our judgements or prejudices.  

The phenomenon of implicit bias has been researched by social scientists for decades, but we rarely explore the implications of this concept on our daily lives.

We may publicly embrace equity, but we’re vulnerable to the unconscious associations we attribute to certain groups—associations that may result in lower expectations and/or differential treatment of them. 

This session will focus on some of the real-world effects on our behavior that implicit biases may have and provide a safe environment for examining disparities that may exist between our beliefs and behaviors.

The Series

  • Aug. 17: The Promise of America, Far Greater Than Its Reality: Achieving Equity, An Introduction
  • Aug. 31: Touch Each Life, Teach Each Child: Achieving Excellence in the Context of Equity for All
  • Sept. 14: Implicit Bias: The Equal Opportunity Virus
  • Sept. 28: Opportunities Denied, Promises Not Kept: Racism and Bias—The African American Journey
  • Oct. 12: Beyond Cultural Competence to Embracing Cultural Humility: The Challenge of Diversity in a Culturally Pluralistic Society   

About Mary Montle Bacon, Ph.D.

From projects in the South and tenements in the Northeast, to human relations consultant conducting keynote addresses and seminars nationwide, Dr. Bacon is uniquely prepared to address issues related to achieving equity for racially, ethnically, and socio-culturally different groups in our society.  Earning a BA in Secondary Education from Fordham University, an MA in Guidance and Counseling and a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Stanford University, she has had extensive experience as teacher, university instructor, counselor, social psychologist, administrator, probation officer and consultant in a variety of areas. Dr. Bacon has devoted most of her professional career primarily working with educators and other related professionals to transform systems into ones that ensure equity and equal access to available opportunities for the most vulnerable among us.  

After more than four decades as a national consultant to school districts throughout the country, Dr. Bacon has concentrated most of her efforts in the last decade to serving as a Technical Assistance Facilitator related to the California State Department of Education assisting school districts in addressing issues related to the disproportionate overrepresentation of students of color and other marginalized youth in special education and the disciplinary system.

This free event received partial funding support from the Friends of the Menlo Park Library.