Defining Racial Justice Terms: Implicit Bias

Defining Racial Justice Terms: Implicit Bias

YWCA Central Carolinas has proudly done Racial Justice & Advocacy work in the Charlotte community for 118 years and counting! With our programs, events, and advocacy there’s a lot of terminology thrown around and we want to make sure that all YWCA supporters know what they mean!

Today’s term is implicit bias, the attitudes we have towards people or stereotypes associated with them without our conscious knowledge. (Source: Perception Insititute) 

Implicit bias impacts us all and it can lead to harmful things, like a misdiagnosis or the dismissal of symptoms at the doctor’s office or a missed opportunity in a job interview. We each have our own biases and those impact others as well as the relationships we build.

You can see how your implicit (or unconscious) bias impacts you by taking Harvard’s Implicit Association Test, which measures attitudes and beliefs that people may be unwilling or unable to report. The IAT may be especially interesting if it shows that you have an implicit attitude that you did not know about.

The key to negating your bias is being mindful. Practicing mindfulness means maintaining a non-judgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.

Everyone makes assumptions about people they don’t know. Watch this TEDx Talk and learn how to recognize these assumptions and work toward a common understanding.

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