The City Club of Eugene Podcast

Implicit Bias

January 23, 2021

What is implicit bias? How does it operate in the classroom and the courtroom? How are hiring decisions and discipline affected by implicit bias?

Erik Girvan, law professor at the University of Oregon Law School, provides a broad overview of implicit bias; Rhonda Nese, professor of education at the University of Oregon, discusses steps that teachers can take to counteract implicit bias; and Justice Adrienne Nelson, judge on the Oregon Supreme Court, discusses it from a justice perspective.

“Try to help us to make better decisions in the moment. This can include lots of things like give ourselves decision guides so we don’t just go with our guts. Because going with our gut can emphasize the impact of (our) assumptions.” (Dr. Girvan)

“When we see implicit bias come up in the treatment of students within schools, either through their interactions with their teachers or their peers, what we often see, especially in classroom behaviors and interactions is that implicit bias comes out as harsh and disproportionate discipline towards students of color, students with disabilities, students living in poverty and those struggling academically.” (Dr. Nese)

“There is a school-to-prison pipeline. And what that means is that depending on the circumstances by which you live – that doesn’t mean things that you’ve done – just by living in a certain zip code, your skin color, your gender/sexual orientation, your religious affiliation,  can affect how one navigates the world.” (Justice Nelson)

(This program was presented on Jan. 8, 2021)

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