World Trust

Addressing Unconscious Bias Tip #3: Creating New Stories

Posted by Adwoa Gyimah-Brempong on September 25, 2014

j elena featherston

One of the strongest perpetuators of the system of racial inequity is unconscious bias. As diversity trainers and educators, it is crucial to find ways to interrupt this bias so as to pave the way for change.

Transformative learning asks adult learners to engage in critical reflection on their experiences and learned beliefs, for the purpose of deconstructing embedded assumptions about how the world works. 

At World Trust, we have found that transformative learning is the perfect pedagogy for addressing unconscious bias. In our latest series, we'll look at six elements that can be included in your diversity activities, harnessing the power of transformative learning to combat unconscious bias.

Create New Stories
Film offers a way to present a multitude of stories that can challenge both conscious and unconscious beliefs. Dialogue then allows for processing and integrating new stories with a larger community. This is a particularly strong way of combating unconscious bias. For this reason, they are the foundation of all of the work that World Trust does, and feature prominently in our Racial Equity Learning Modules.

View this example film clip from the core module, Understanding the System of Racial Inequity, featuring social justice consultant J. Elena Featherston speaking about privilege:

What Featherston is saying here is not that the other ways in which she may be disadvantaged in the world are less valid - only that they cannot and should not override the awareness that her advantages are no less real.

The Takeaway
By rewriting the stories of ourselves as nuanced intersections of privilege and lack of it, it is easier to undetstand the ways in which our old narratives may have blocked us from acknowledging bias in our own lives.
Want to learn more about our Racial Equity Learning Modules? For more information, please click here. Curious about the rest of the tips in this series? Download them all for free below!
Download "Addressing Unconscious Bias" from World Trust