Guest post by Megan Beaver, M.S., CCC-SLP, in partnership with eLuma Online Therapy.
No matter who we are, we have biases. This is because bias is developed through a combination of our upbringing, education, and our many experiences in the world. The way we behave at home, in school, at work, and as leaders can be influenced by these biases, and so can the way we process incoming information and stimuli. This means that we have work to do to release negative biases. We are each responsible for learning about, acknowledging, and reshaping our biases so we can become strong allies for the individuals and groups disadvantaged by them.
Starting the journey toward becoming more fair and a better ally can be daunting. Where do we begin? Finding some courage might be a good first step. Thinking about and discussing the ways we have been unfair in our lives can be difficult and uncomfortable. Confronting these thoughts internally might require quiet courage, while discussing these thoughts with others needs bolder courage.
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.”– Franklin D. Roosevelt
With courage in hand, we can commit to acknowledging and identifying some of the unconscious biases that we may have or that others may experience. To help us with identification, let’s take a look at how biases surface differently depending on the situation:
Once you have gained a better understanding of the types of bias and identified the ones you may be holding, the next step is to sit with them. Deeply consider where your biases may have come from. Wonder how they may have impacted others. Understand that you can release biases and move forward as a more informed person without beating yourself up for what happened in the past.
Give yourself time and space to think, and try these prompts as thought-starters:
Wishing you the best as you start recognizing unconscious bias you may be holding during this lifelong journey to becoming an amazing ally to others. Stay tuned for part two about making changes and moving forward as an ally – coming soon!
I really like the structure of Everyday Speech. It’s really nice to be able to pull from different modules to fit different groups’ needs, especially having the age differentiation. Students want to see themselves represented in videos in all aspects (relevant concepts, various ages, genders, ethnicities, etc.).– Nora M., M.S., CCC-SLP