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'Hidden Bias of Good People' helps us recognize our implicit biases

Dr. Bryant T. Marks Sr. hosts special report on WPTV
'Hidden Bias Of Good People' is hosted by Dr. Bryant T. Marks Sr., a professor at Morehouse College in Atlanta (1).jpg
Posted at 9:25 PM, Mar 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-11 23:15:02-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — WPTV is continuing our conversations about equity, diversity, and inclusion.

A prime-time special on Thursday called "Hidden Bias of Good People" looked at how the individuals and ideas we've been exposed to throughout our lives take hold, and while we assume we're always thinking independently, we're not.

It's called implicit bias. So how can we be more aware of our bias and be more compassionate parents, friends, neighbors, and coworkers?

Dr. Bryant T. Marks Sr., a minister, researcher, trainer, and award-winning educator, hosted the special and provided answers.

Following the "Hidden Bias of Good People" program, WPTV anchors Kelley Dunn and Tania Rogers hosted a virtual roundtable on the WPTV Facebook page with members of our local community to get their insight into how people can reduce their implicit biases.

Joining Dunn and Rogers were Patrick Franklin from the Urban League of Palm Beach County, Maha ELKolalli from the South Florida Muslim Federation, Maricela Torres from the Esperanza Community Center, Josephine Gon from the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, and WPTV journalist Todd Wilson.

WATCH TOWN HALL DISCUSSION:

'Hidden Bias of Good People' helps us recognize our implicit biases

When you hear the word bias, you may immediately think it's a bad thing. But that's not necessarily the case. Your biases may make you act more positively toward a group due to your own life experiences. It can also cause you to act negatively toward others without knowing it.

In fact, you almost certainly have some implicit biases (often called unconscious biases) towards different social attitudes.

So, how do you counter implicit bias? The first step is to know your biases. From there, it requires conscious efforts.

The Tory Burch Foundation lists these steps you can take:

  • Identify your biases
  • Be mindful of what you say and how you say it
  • Question your thinking and challenge your assumptions
  • Seek diversity in your friendships and interactions
  • Hold yourself and others accountable when unconscious bias surfaces
  • Avoid generalizations, and catch yourself when you use them and ask yourself if the statement was true
  • Imagine positive images of a group you tend to be biased about
  • Listen to someone else's story and exercise empathy
  • Raise your children to embrace diversity and equality

Dr. Marks is the founding director of the National Training Institute on Race and Equity and is a professor in the Department of Psychology at Morehouse College. He served on President Barack Obama’s Board of Advisors with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans.

You can watch a replay of WPTV's community conversation on hidden bias at 1`0 p.m. Friday on the WPTV app on your favorite streaming device.