Title

Where is Waldo?! Challenging our Approach to Equity in Education

First Presenter's Institution

Georgia Southern University

Second Presenter's Institution

NA

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Westbrook

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Safety & Violence Prevention

Relevance

Implicit biases are like hidden bits of information about society stored in our brain that influence our beliefs and interactions. Implicit social biases affect us all by virtue of having been socialized in a society that historically struggles with power, privilege, and marginalization based on group status.

Both public and private institutions in our society continue to reproduce disparate outcomes with respect to race, gender, and other marginalized group statuses. We now know more about bias than ever before; we also know that even if students, parents, and school personnel are unable to consciously identify biases, they are able to notice them and act on them unconsciously.

The data, contributed from many fields of study, suggest that biases are pervasive - we all have them including educators - and have a significant impact on our interactions and outcomes. As our American family becomes increasingly diverse, creating a sense of community and safety in all classrooms for all students will mean addressing these issues that we so commonly downplay or dismiss all together. The information in this session is important for competent educators who work with all populations and who practice in schools, communities, private settings, etc.

Brief Program Description

How are Waldo and equity related? “Where is Waldo?” presupposes that Waldo exists. We often assume the opposite about bias and discrimination. When presented with disparate outcomes, we prefer to believe that “those things" don’t happen "here". In this experiential session participants will explore topics designed to reduce discrimination: multicultural and social justice theory, implicit and explicit bias research, and tools for increasing equity.

Summary

How are Waldo and equity related? “Where is Waldo?” presupposes that Waldo exists. We tend to assume the opposite when it comes to bias and discrimination. Kids of all ages invest considerable time and patience searching for Waldo, but in the age of colorblindness we fail to search for bias and discrimination with a similar level of commitment often because we don’t believe they exist in our space.

Both public and private institutions in our society continue to reproduce disparate outcomes with respect to race, gender, and other marginalized group statuses. We now know more about bias than ever before. The data, contributed from many fields of study, suggest that biases are pervasive - we all have them including educators - and have a significant impact on our interactions and outcomes. This information has been gathered for my Ed.S. Action Research Project titled Implicit Racial Bias in Counselors-in-Training.

Research has asserted that the intersections of racial, ethnic, gender, sexual, socioeconomic, age, religious, spiritual, and disability identities have important influences on mental health outcomes and health disparities (Conron, Mimiaga, & Landers, 2010; Hankivsky et al., 2010; Institute of Medicine 2011). In addition, counselors have realized the need to take a more contextual approach to working with clients and communities, recognizing that individuals are part of a larger ecosystem. Therefore, understanding these contexts is becoming increasing important, especially for individuals from historically marginalized backgrounds. (Ratts, Singh, Nassar-McMillan, Butler, & McCullough, 2016). Implicit biases, or patterns of thought and feeling that often unconsciously and unintentionally influence our actions, create barriers to the improvement of competent practice.

This interactive session is designed to teach participants to identify and reduce discrimination. We’ll first take a brief look at multicultural and social justice theory; we’ll use experiential learning activities to explore theories of implicit and explicit bias and also take a look at findings from recent research; participants will then learn about structural marginalization; next they will engage in group activities designed to teach strategies for identifying and reducing structural bias in their own setting. Participants will be provided with resources to help increase equity in their system.

Evidence

My research examines the the level of implicit racial bias present in counselors-in-training, its relationship with explicit racial bias, and the impact of multicultural counseling interventions on the reduction of implicit bias. My research has been heavily influenced by the work Anthony Greenwald and Mahzarin R. Banaji along with microaggression research from Derald Sue. I examine implicit bias utilizing a networked ecological systems theory framework and also take into account dual processes theories from the field of psychology. Dr. Daniel Kahneman refers to two types of brain systems in his work; one which is fast, automatic, and unconscious and the other which slow, deliberate and conscious. Discord between these two systems is what leads to dissociation and cognitive dissonance. Greenwald and Banaji argue that this is how it is possible for someone to hold egalitarian beliefs and still act in ways that are racially biased. The interventions include the use of a racial equity toolkit which has been developed by the Government Alliance on Race and Equity. The framework for these interventions can be applied to other marginalized group statuses.

Implicit biases are like hidden bits of information about society stored in our brain that influence our beliefs and interactions. Implicit social biases affect us all by virtue of having been socialized in a society that historically struggles with power, privilege, and marginalization based on group status.

The information in this session is important for competent counselors who work with all populations and who practice in schools, communities, private settings, etc.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

John Nwosu is passionate about helping others, affecting social change, and having meaningful fun in the process. He is originally from Austell, GA right down the street from Six Flags over GA. John is a counselor, educator, thinker, helper, and change agent. He earned his bachelor degree in Chemistry and master’s in School Counseling from Georgia Southern University. John is currently completing an education specialist degree in Counselor Education while working as a School Counselor in Garrett Middle School in Cobb County. He is also an associate counselor at Brave Tomorrow Counseling and Consulting in Statesboro, GA. John believes that our experiences are dots; we have to look back to really connect all of them, so it’s important to collect them now and connect them later.

Keyword Descriptors

School Climate, Equity, Diversity, Safety, Social, Emotional, Mental Health, Implicit, Unconscious, Bias

Presentation Year

2018

Start Date

3-5-2018 10:30 AM

End Date

3-5-2018 11:45 AM

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Mar 5th, 10:30 AM Mar 5th, 11:45 AM

Where is Waldo?! Challenging our Approach to Equity in Education

Westbrook

How are Waldo and equity related? “Where is Waldo?” presupposes that Waldo exists. We often assume the opposite about bias and discrimination. When presented with disparate outcomes, we prefer to believe that “those things" don’t happen "here". In this experiential session participants will explore topics designed to reduce discrimination: multicultural and social justice theory, implicit and explicit bias research, and tools for increasing equity.