Last week I wrote about social vs physical distancing. This week I’m asking you to think about the ways assumptions and pre-judgment are sneaking into your actions and feelings during this pandemic. When we are stressed, or afraid, we tend to default to what we know. The impact of fear I’ve … [Continue reading] COVID-19, physical distancing & assumptions
I had a powerful conversation yesterday with a colleague – Heather Hansen O’Neill. She was asking me about my thoughts regarding bias, assumptions, fear and how they get in the way. During that conversation she asked me a question that I had to think about. Not because I didn’t have an answer. … [Continue reading] A World without Assumptions and Fear…
Yesterday I watched Trevor Noah’s Afraid of the Dark (available on Netflix - here's a clip). It was amazing from start to finish. What I love about Trevor Noah is that while he is making us laugh, he is educating us as well. Afraid of the Dark is no exception. He covered colonization, being Black in … [Continue reading] What’s in an Accent?
The Parapan Am Games started this past weekend in Toronto. And I find myself wondering, again, why the "para" games are separated and later than the "non para" games. The Pan Am Games came and went in Toronto amid much fanfare. Traffic was bad, but we heard about the medal count daily and there was … [Continue reading] Parapan Am Games – inclusion?
So we have a Black Police Chief in Toronto. I want to cheer. But my inner voice is saying "not so fast...". Here's why: Let's consider the assumptions I am (and many people likely are likely) making based on skin colour and the expectations that these create. We might assume that since Mark … [Continue reading] What Difference Can a Black Police Chief make in Toronto?
On the weekend I was reminded of a great quote by Mark Twain: "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Although I would argue that what we don't know can get us into trouble, the second half is particularly insightful when talking … [Continue reading] What gets us into trouble…
Ferguson, Missouri and Staten Island, New York: - As long as the unconscious bias is that Black males are a threat, police officers (and others) will keep feeling that they have to use extreme force to protect themselves – even in situations where it seems clear that there is no threat. - Case in … [Continue reading] A Few Lessons about Racism from 2014
Ah stereotypes... Have you noticed that the negative ones are usually more about certain people than others? And that those “certain” people are usually not in the dominant group? Think about it. Who are the bad drivers, the late-comers, the lazy ones...the list goes on. Of course there are positive … [Continue reading] Blind Spot – Part 3: Stereotypes
Last week I introduced you to social mindbugs. This week, I’m going to make the case a little more, because I know that it’s challenging to take in that what our unconscious mind believes can lead us in a direction/to a behaviour or conclusion that our conscious mind would abhor. In case you missed … [Continue reading] Blind Spot – Part 2: Social Mindbugs
Language is an important part of creating and sustaining safe and inclusive space. It’s also relatively easy to change, so can start to make a difference quickly (unlike some changes that require policies, or that can get stuck in organizational red tape). Checking your language requires awareness … [Continue reading] The Power of One Word