Let's Talk Race DIY Book Clubs bring together the essential components of a good book discussion: an introduction to share, questions to prompt conversation and further reading.
Leading expert in social psychology, MacArthur Fellow, and professor of psychology at Stanford University, Dr. Jennifer Lynn Eberhardt expertly explains our innate biases and how they affect every aspect of our lives. We all have implicit biases which are triggered at lightning speed that form the basis of our thoughts about other people, and our actions towards them. Eberhardt's decades-long research of human biases is drawn in an accessible way with personal anecdotes, but is still packed with facts and extensive analysis.
Dr. Eberhardt gives a very quick introduction to her book, Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do.
What stories or research from Biased did you find particularly striking? Which spoke to experiences from your own life, either in how you were treated by others or how you reacted to situations and people?
Dr. Eberhardt writes that goal-driven repetitive practices can override the effects of bias. Other factors include the effect of personal connections, introducing objective standards, raising awareness, and sustained story-sharing. What methods do you think are useful to recognize, address, and mitigate bias?
“Bias determines who gets to shine, who is allowed to stand out, who is lauded for being a ‘disrupter’ and who is sidelined for being disruptive,” Dr. Eberhardt writes. Have you seen bias operate in this way?
Dr. Eberhardt states that the mistake we continue to make is thinking our work is done: “Companies want to check the boxes but not change their culture.” What is the culture of your team or organization? How does—or could—your company demonstrate an ongoing commitment to changing to the impact of bias?
When people focus on not seeing color, they often fail to see discrimination and bias. How does Dr. Eberhardt’s research challenge a colorblind approach?
Bias influences how we interpret the world and how others react to us. Can you share a story of how your identity has perhaps changed the outcome of a situation?
We all have many identities. Some of those are more visible, and some are invisible. What is one aspect of your identity or life that may be “invisible” to others? How do you think that identity affects your own bias or how others perceive you?
Have you ever felt like an outsider—at school, work, with friends, or within any community? Please share a story of feeling like an outsider and what that was like for you.
What lessons are you taking from Biased and this conversation? Are there tangible takeaways you are thinking about regarding awareness of your own actions, the space to share your stories, or changes you can make collectively as a team and organization to face and address the ongoing effects of bias?