I am Mistress Gytha Oggsdottir, the Kingdom Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer. A big part of my job description is education. Today, let’s talk about implicit bias.
We are raised with certain messages being taught to us by our family, neighbors, and cultures. These messages and beliefs run so deep, to the level where they are just “how things are”, where you might not even know they are there. And they happen to all of us as we grow up. Do these implicit biases make you actively racist, transphobic, homphobic, or ableist? Nope. That’s the thing with implicit biases you can have them and be unconscious of them. You might truly believe that you are not prejudiced, and you can believe in equality for everyone and still show small behaviors that are coming from these hidden, implicit biases. People can consider themselves anti-discrimination and still have old learned hidden biases.
Having these implicit biases does not mean that one is a bad person. However, if one wants to work on them and not cause harm to others, it means that they have to constantly look at and work on behaviors that come from this place, whether those behaviors are conscious or unconscious. Right now, in our Kingdom, country, and world, there are deep emotions and many people are really looking at biases (hiddden and open) and discrimination. It is a thing which is desperately needed.
We all have implicit bias, but this is a thing that we can work on, and a place we can better ourselves. I want to stress that education is how we work on these, within ourselves and for others. We all need to explore inside ourselves for stereotypes, prejudices, discrimination, and help educate others as well.
If you see others showing some of these manifestations of implicit bias, look at them as a whole person, and what you know about them. Then help to educate them, or point them to a place to educate themselves. This is how we will strengthen our society and become what we strive to become, by bettering ourselves and helping others on their own path to the extent we are able. The SCA DEI website is a great jumping off place to learn about implicit bias – https://www.sca.org/dei-office/dei-resources/.
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