Navigating unconscious bias

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Online via Zoom

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Who’s this for?

Individual contributors, managers, and leaders




In this facilitated DEI workshop on Unconscious Bias, you will have an opportunity to build awareness around your own biases in addition to addressing two fundamental questions about the topic – (1) What is Bias and (2) Why does it matter? 

Bias is our natural tendency to favor one thing over another. Building awareness around our own biases can help us to understand how biases (unconscious or conscious) influence our opinions toward or against people, places, things, and ideas. In doing so, we build capacities to examine our own blind spots and how bias can get in the way of our own personal goals and intentions. 

Finally, the workshop will conclude by addressing the topic of privilege and how checking our own privilege at the door is a prerequisite to recognizing our blind spots and working past our biases in thoughtful ways. 

As part of this workshop experience, participants will also have an opportunity to take the Implicit Association Test (IAT) (free) to examine their different biases in relation to over a dozen different forms of bias involving race, skin tone, weight, age, and disability. The assessment is completely anonymous and is administered by Harvard University. 

Why End with the Topic of Privilege When Discussing Unconscious Bias?

Conversations about privilege often make people uncomfortable. In fact, conversations about privilege can make those who have some feel morally responsible for inequalities in the world, or seem to call into question their accomplishments in life, attributing them to unchosen identities instead of hard work. However, learning to see the privilege you have is an essential step in building relationships across difference and pushing past our biases about others [1]. 

In this way, learning about our biases need to go hand in hand with first acknowledging our privilege and then examining ways to leverage privilege to elevate marginalized voices.

During this workshop, we will: 

  • Increase awareness of your own biases and how your biases impact decision making and opinions
  • Recognize your own privilege and leveraging this knowledge to build empathy and understanding of people whose lives are different from your own

After the workshop, you will: 

  • Identify one focus area within your organization to apply your learnings
  • Take the Implicit Association Test to examine your own biases
  • Define the key terms such as (unconscious) bias, stereotypes, and privilege

[1] Jana, T., & Freeman, M. (. (2016). Overcoming bias: building authentic relationships across differences. First Edition. Oakland, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Without Exception


Without Exception

Dennis is the chief executive officer of Without Exception, a company he founded to help organizations build, develop, and fine-tune their diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy by leveraging systems thinking to deconstruct these complex topics into concrete actions that facilitate immediate and sustainable change. Without Exception partners with organizations to help them identify starting points that promote greater equity and belonging for all employees.

Dennis has over 20 years of experience in the higher education and nonprofit sectors, holding a variety of strategic leadership roles in that time. Beginning his professional career as a registrar for a small law school in Southern California, Dennis went on hold senior leadership positions in accreditation and licensing, institutional effectiveness, admissions, and institutional research. In his most recent role as Director of Research for Math for America in New York, Dennis designed and implemented a large-scale research agenda measuring programmatic impacts on educators across all five New York City boroughs. Dennis has also developed and taught graduate leadership courses and is an expert in Systems Thinking and qualitative research methodology.

Dennis earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Social Behavior from the University ofCalifornia, Irvine, his MBA from Everest University, and his Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Dennis also holds a certification in online teaching pedagogy as well as certifications in a variety of assessments and experiential learning programs.

Dennis is a member of the Academy of Management, the Association for Institutional Research, and the American Educational Research Association. He is also an Advisory Council Member for the Conscious Leadership and Team Management Certificate Program at the University of Chicago Graham School ofProfessional Development Programs.

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