Hello! This is Irina Meza and Reyda Taylor. We are co-facilitators for some of Mission Capital’s new equity workshops. You’ll hear more about all of our equity offerings, our Inclusion Council and our Race, Equity & Belonging framework soon, but today we want to share about our Implicit Bias Learning Circle. Before we share why we started with implicit bias we want to share about our commitment to advancing equity.
At Mission Capital, we have a vision where all can thrive, but we know that, for all to thrive, we must have a continual focus on how we center equity and equip leaders, organizations and networks to advance equity. We believe that requires first changing ourselves as individuals and as a collective, before we change our processes and policies, and then change our work.
Implicit biases are attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. Implicit biases develop at an early age through social conditioning. Having an implicit bias towards a particular group can determine how you treat an individual from that group.
We know that bias is not something we can truly rid ourselves of, but we can identify ways to acknowledge and monitor it. Bias shows up in systems, in culture, in ideology, and our interactions. The place where we have the most control for change, is in ourselves.
That is why we created an implicit bias training for Mission Capital staff, which is about identifying and navigating our own biases and developing racial stamina, so that we can create change in ourselves and the world around us.
Though in 2019 we originally created this training for our internal staff, in 2020 we expanded it to be a multi-week external program.
The Implicit Bias Learning circle is a learning experience designed to help participants personally explore implicit bias, particularly as it relates to race and racism. This experience includes reading, reflection activities and participation in a virtual learning circle.
Key elements of our learning circle are building racial stamina & using self-regulation strategies to not only have conversations but to having ongoing dialogue about racism and systemic inequities.
Building Racial Stamina – When we talk about building racial stamina, it is about having the ability to have conversations about race and racism. This is one reason, especially in the race equity trainings that we do together, we anchor the experience with a focus on self-regulation. When doing race equity work and having conversations about race, staying engaged in the conversation, sharing and listening to others is the way we grow. The goal is to be part of the conversation and not disconnect, but to push through discomfort. We can’t build racial stamina without also learning to self-regulate in conversations about race. We must build racial stamina in order to stay regulated in situations where we see microaggressions and racism, so that we can intervene.
We just wrapped our first 6-week external learning circle and included a third co-facilitator, Karl Nichols. We are excited to announce that we will be offering another circle starting January 6, 2021. If you would like to join us, you can find more out more information and how to register here.
If you want to deepen your knowledge about implicit bias, we highly recommend the following resources, that have been especially valuable to us in our own journeys:
• Dolly Chugh’s The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias – http://www.dollychugh.com/book
• Scene on Radio’s Seeing White podcast – https://www.sceneonradio.org/seeing-white/
• On Being with Krista Tippett: Resemaa Menakem “Notice the Rage: Notice the Silence” https://onbeing.org/programs/resmaa-menakem-notice-the-rage-notice-the-silence/
• Resemaa Menakem’s book My Grandmother’s Hands