Consciously building unconscious bias

I was struck by author Malcolm Gladwell’s desicription of “Rapid Cognition” in the book blink, and how he used the example of the car salesman to show how ignoring sub-conscious ‘knee-jerk’ reactions to people can negatively impact the bottom line.  (e.g. assuming someone won’t be buying  a car strictly from their appearance/first impression.)  When we (social…

Noting When and How we Reference Race, and the Assumptions behind the Absence

Hey you racist, why did you mention only Serena Williams race in last week’s post about the Mother Nature/Tampax ad? Luckily that comment didn’t come in, but as I was riding the train (or the “L” as we call it in Chicago) downtown yesterday, I realized I did mention Serena’s race, but not “Mother Nature’s”. …

What I learned from Marc Sims: Self Proclaimed “Pseudo Motivational Speaker”

 When Marc and I first met, I didn’t know what to think.  We were in the “Green Room,” aka the Counselor’s office at Robeson High School in Chicago, getting ready to visit classrooms as motivational speakers, as part of the Black Star Project.  “I tell them about careers in marketing, and to believe in…

Defying Assumptions: Samasource Provides Internet Jobs to Refugees in Kenya/Somalia and Beyond

 I’ve seen “Blood Diamond.”  I’ve seen the “Migrations:  History in Transition” photography exhibit by Brazilian photojournalist Sabastião Salgado.  I’ve walked through the “Doctors without Borders” traveling “model” refugee camp.   I’ve even cried looking at the static images of suffering of those poor, poor people displaced and ravaged in far away lands by war and…

Unconscious Bias #44 Revealed: Skinny, White, Beautiful Blondes, aka “Shiksas”

 Let me clarify two things upfront, before explaining my most recent revelation of unconscious bias: 1) Self-revelation of an unconscious bias is the best way to address it and overcome it. It’s like the old AA adage. You have to acknowledge there’s a problem first. 2) I was about to defend my use…