2nd Town Hall Meeting Features Training On Bias
The City of Elk Grove held the 2nd Town Hall Meeting on race relations on October 30 at Elk Grove Pavilions. This 2nd Town Hall Meeting featured a training on bias conducted by Bill Kennedy of the American Leadership Forum.
Cognitive Science of Implicit Bias
& The Unconscious Mind
Through a series of exercises and examples, attendees learned the cognitive science of implicit bias and the unconscious mind. Most noteworthy, in one memorable exercise titled the Monkey Business Illusion, people were asked to count how many times the players wearing white passed the ball. During the video a gorilla appeared. It walked through and appeared to beat it’s chest. Some people were able to count a number close to the number of the actual times the ball was passed. Others were completely off track.
Hence, all this is simply meant to demonstrate that being primed to the possibility of unexpected events does not enhance one’s ability to notice other unexpected events. In other words, you can miss important events if you are focused on something else. Even if you knew about the gorilla, it may not have changed your ability to count how many times people in white shirts passed the ball. In fact, it may have made it worse.
Especially relevant, these trainings are a part of a long term effort to change the culture of Elk Grove. It is hoped to have a profound effect on Elk Grove and it’s surrounding communities. Therefore, the 3rd Town Hall Meeting on November 6 will introduce de-biasing techniques to address bias and racism. Furthermore, Elk Grove citizens concerned about racial discrimination are hoping that the Elk Grove City Council can help to map out next steps to eradicate racial discrimination and bias in Elk Grove.