Bias Awareness Trainings
OUR BIAS AWARENESS TRAININGS PROMOTE RESPECT FOR DIFFERENCES AND FOSTER “AHA” MOMENTS THAT LEAD TO SHIFTS IN MINDSETS
• For teens and adults ages 13 – 65+ representing all races, religions, ethnicities, beliefs, socio-economic levels, abilities, needs, sexual orientation, appearances and backgrounds.
• For students, teachers, support staff, coaches, bus drivers, employees, management and board of directors.
• Sessions are facilitated vs. taught; our trainings are interactive and are enriched by the participants’ sharing.
• Our trainings are designed to help people become more aware of their personal biases; especially the unconscious ones. We help individuals better understand the characteristics in others of which they are most judgmental.
• Trainings are 60 minutes to 8 hours in length depending on the depth of the content.
• Our trainings are customized for any size audience although we’ve found that smaller groups (less than 50) allow for the most meaningful and productive interaction and discussion.
• We ensure a safe and non-threatening environment for sharing diversity related experiences and concerns.
Prejudice is learned; everyone prejudges. It begins with “little acts of bias” such as jokes, rumors, stereotyping, insensitive remarks, non-inclusive language, screening out positive information about groups of people to accept the negative, and justifying bias by seeking out like-minded people. If not kept in check, these biases turn into prejudice and bigotry. Name-calling, ridiculing, scapegoating, labeling, social avoidance and de-humanization can occur. This can lead to discrimination, harassment and social exclusion. Sadly, these can escalate to violence.
• are aware of their personal biases and the assumptions of others;
• know how to inquire about differences without offending;
• listen with open minds;
• suspend their own beliefs as needed to ensure fair and consistent interactions with others; and
• seek different perspectives and actively learn from differences in people.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN A TRAINING, please complete a presentation form and email to Melissa Plotkin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
School Based Programs
GET REAL (for high schools)
The Get Real program reduces put-downs, labeling, name calling, rudeness, ridiculing, stereotyping, bullying, discrimination and violence in schools while bringing about positive changes in attitudes, behavior and knowledge. High School students are interviewed and selected to be trained as Get Real Peer Leaders and assist the IDEAS Center in presenting this experiential program to their peers. They lead small groups in discussions where students "get real" about the things that are weighing heavily in their hearts and minds and work with the school administration to keep the spirit of Get Real alive in their school year-round.
REALITY CHECK (for middle or intermediate schools)
4Real (for older elementary aged students)
Modeled after the Get Real Program, Reality Check, a half day program) and 4Real (1 hour program) are powerful and impactful experiences that changes the climate of schools and the hearts of students. These programs also work to develop and support students as role models in shaping their schools into vibrant learning communities.
OUR CULTURE ASSESSMENTS ENSURE THAT “HOW THINGS ARE DONE” ARE FAIR AND INCLUSIVE FOR EVERYONE
• Provides a baseline measurement of how the culture of a school, business or organization impacts its people.
• Two components of the assessment:
1. A review of the policies, communications, processes, values, traditions and rituals for fairness, inclusiveness,
unintended consequences, and long-term impact.
2. A survey, focus group or interview of the people for their perspectives on how well the rules are being followed,
enforced, and how people are held accountable for their actions.
When the culture of a school, business or organization contradicts what that school, business or organization says it stands for, credibility is lost and reputations are tarnished. And, when the people within a school, business or organization don’t follow the rules, values and ethics, it sets the stage that accountability isn’t important or a priority.
• A company policy states an employee will receive one 15-minute break per 6-hour work shift, yet the employees who smoke are seen outside the building taking several smoke breaks throughout the 6-hour shift.
• The school’s dress code policy indicates that shorts and skirts must be of a certain length. Yet, cheerleaders are allowed to wear their uniforms during game day and the length of the skirt on the uniform is shorter than the policy states.
• Some of the terminology used in the organization’s newsletter is outdated and can be misconstrued as offensive to certain members and supporters.
• The policy states that no eating is allowed at the reception desk and that a certain dress code must be followed yet some of the front desk associates eat while working and wear clothing that go against the dress code policy.
Cultures that are:
• Fair to everyone;
• Appropriately aligned with what a school, business or organization says they represent;
• Ingrained into the way of doing business; and
• Consistently enforced with consequences.
OUR BUILDING AUDITS ASSESS THE MESSAGES FOUND WITHIN THE “BRICK AND MORTAR”
• Provides a “snap shot” through a fresh set of eyes to the physical space to assess how welcoming the reception, displays, pictures, bulletin boards, signage, decorations, hallways, and common spaces are to all people.
• The JCC staff takes photographs and comprehensive notes documenting the entire experience from the moment they enter the property until they leave the property.
• The building audits include all common areas and can include, upon request, audits of classrooms, offices, and other specific areas.
Having a fresh set of eyes view a space reveals things that can be tweaked to make it even more welcoming and celebrating
of all people and their interests and beliefs. If the messages within the “brick and mortar” are not consistent or favor only certain groups of people, then a school, business, and organization isn’t truly embracing all the people, interests and
cultures it serves.
• Display cases filled with only trophies highlighting only athletic accomplishments sends a message to other activities and clubs that their work isn’t as important.
• A lobby that doesn’t display a company’s mission, vision and values is missing an opportunity to communicate to its customers what’s important to them
• Decorations around classroom doors may look pretty yet are a lost opportunity to highlight an anti-bullying message or a motivational message to students
Physical spaces that are:
• Welcoming and inviting;
• Respectful of all cultures; and
• Consistent in signage, branding and communicating key messages.
I want everyone to feel welcome and respected in my school, business
OUR CLIMATE ASSESSMENTS MEASURE “HOW IT FEELS TO BE HERE”; THE QUALITY OF THE CONNECTIONS BETWEEN THE PEOPLE
• Provides a baseline measurement for how people feel; measures strengths and areas of opportunity.
• Three types of assessments for students, educators, support staff, families, management, employees, board of directors, members and suppliers:
1. Surveys - We create, administer and analyze surveys designed to quantitatively assess how welcome, safe and respected children and adults feel within the school, business or organization
2. Focus Group and Interview Research – We conduct focus group and interview research to gather more in-depth qualitative information that assesses how people feel
3. Observational – we conduct observational assessments to document behaviors and interactions that further discloses a sense of the climate
Sometimes what we think to know to be true isn’t the truth. Having a pulse on the atmosphere and relationships provides both quantitative and qualitative data that may reveal information, especially subtle information that stands in the way of a school, business or organization achieving its goals and objectives.
• A student who worries about being bullied at recess doesn’t focus on her academics.
• An employee who doesn’t feel his input is valued will eventually shut-down.
• An educator who feels disrespected and misunderstood doesn’t give 100% in the classroom.
• A volunteer who leaves feeling offended or unappreciated is unlikely to give of her time and financial support again.
Climates where people feel:
• Welcome (they belong);
• Safe (emotionally, socially, and physically);
• Respected (they can be themselves and it’s OK); and
• Connected (they have relationships built on respect, trust, caring and honesty).