The course is designed to help attendees dig deep and unpack the workings of bias in a safe and inclusive learning space. Not only is it a chance to unpack their bias, but it is also a space to evaluate their knowledge, perspectives, and understanding of diversity and inclusion. Those two words have been misunderstood.
The toxic “isms” that plague our society are linked to the human condition. In other words, we are all subtly influenced by cultural doctrines based on mythical beliefs and one-sided hand-me-down stories that lead to a general disregard for the dignity and worth of others. The course employs the strategic use of questions to help participants think critically about their thinking.
From first to last, the course is about developing the skills, knowledge, behaviors, and attitudes that support inclusive public and private spaces.
Regardless of the format you choose (in class, webinar, or hybrid self-study & live facilitator), the training session contains three distinct yet connected modules: Awareness, Analysisand Action.
Life contains many issues that have a moral dimension that may or may not be connected to law.
The word moral is dangerous when left undefined. It is ambiguous given that the moral content of an issue is always discerned through a specific lens or measured with a specific meter. There are different moral standards that we could use to answer the question posed by the article’s title. We’ll keep things simple by leveraging the principle of “do no harm to others” to uncover the moral dimension of prejudice.
The question could be framed as, “Does prejudice lead to physical or emotional harm?” Perhaps a better question might be, “Would a rational, prudent, impartial person acknowledge that prejudice violates contemporary ideals, norms, or values of respect for persons?”
I think it’s good to acknowledge that the question won’t capture all of the nuances of a particular situation. It does, however, provide good guidance.
Prejudice could also be considered an ambiguous word. Let’s define it as a condition that affects our behavior toward other people. It can be discerned in us when all of the following symptoms are present:
Prejudging a person or group using hand-me-down stories;
Holding derogatory beliefs;
Hostility and fear are the dominant feelings associated with a person or group;
Inclination to hinder, hurt, or support others in doing the same.
Would someone manifesting the above symptoms violate contemporary ideas, norms, or values of respect for persons?
Let me morph an old proverb as an answer: The proof of the pudding can be found on the receiving. You will need to understand the lived experiences of those you hold prejudices against or at minimum listen to their voices.
Providing competent professional service is a two-act structure consisting of knowledge of the tools and processes as well as knowing the population you serve.
Knowing the population you serve may seem like a purely intellectual enterprise ringed with the ideals of objectivity and distance. Yet, we need to recognize the affective component of knowing any population that hinders objectivity.
A professional can never be truly object; we all experience people and situations through the lens of our beliefs, values, goals, history, and worldview.
Perhaps to truly approach objectivity requires self-awareness of your personal goals, motivations, and reason for what you have chosen to profess.
There is a way to resist negative peer pressure or the judgemental conduct of others around you: Make a public commitment to your position and welcome mild attacks.
At the start of any negative interaction, stating your commitment to your position or conviction publicly is key. Standing up to your conviction will make you less susceptible or open to negative peer pressure or shaming.
Research shows that when you attack a committed person just enough for them to react but not become overwhelmed (a mild attack), they become more committed.
In fact, several mild attacks can immunize a person and empower them to resist more powerful attacks against their position.
Mild attacks stimulate us to reflect on counterarguments. Several studies suggest that counterarguing helps people build their resistance against persuasion.