‘Implicit bias training’ has been in the news lately because a Starbucks employee called the police to remove two black men whose crime was asking to use the restroom. Santa Barbara is not immune to this kind of racial profiling and stereotyping of ‘others’. For example, based on research led by the Santa Barbara Juvenile Probation Department and UCSB, youth of color are referred to disciplinary programs and incarcerated at a higher rate than caucasian youth for similar offenses. Implicit bias is the unconscious associations and judgements we all have about people who are different from ourselves. Many people are not aware of their own bias and microaggressions that can negatively impact others. With the help of Lizzie Rodriguez of the Restorative Community Network, the Fund of Santa Barbara has provided an emerging needs grant for events intended to aid in the understanding of and communication with different racial and cultural groups in our area. To participate in the free summer groups see link below.
Just Communities, in partnership with the Santa Barbara Area PTA Council, recently provided the first event of this series - a bilingual workshop for parents of Santa Barbara area schools. Aided by two translators, Just Communities executive director Jarrod Schwartz and Ana Huynh, director of the Just Communities PIDA program (Parents for Inclusion, Diversity, and Access), led the group through a number of interactive exercises and discussions. Participants appreciated being able to hear the views of other parents, at times through the bilingual translators, and everyone got valuable information about how to avoid the pitfalls of bias.
There will be several opportunities for community members to participate in groups and workshops this summer:
1) Restorative Community Network Implicit Bias Workshops - single 3-hour sessions presented at a church, neighborhood association or club during July - September. Head Facilitator: Lizzie Rodriguez
2) Heart 2 Heart small groups - participants meet in 4 2-hour sessions to share personal stories of race and culture. Respectful communication, safety and trust are encouraged. Co-Facilitators: Sojourner Kincaid Rolle and Cheri Gurse
3) A ‘Back to School’ Implicit Bias Workshop, details TBD
To get more information, express interest in participating, or request a group discussion or workshop to be held at your location, please use this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SBgroups2018
Just Communities offers cultural competency training to organizational leaders, education seminars for the general public, leadership training institutes for students and teachers, and customized consultation to local agencies for diversity and organizational change initiatives. Just Communities envisions an equitable and inclusive Central Coast where all people are connected, respected, and valued. www.just-communities.org
The Restorative Community Network (RCN) is a coalition of individuals and organizations committed to working together to address the complex social issues contributing to juvenile crime and community divisions. www.rcnsb.org
Heart 2 Heart was created by cultural artist and community educator Sojourner Kincaid Rolle and educator, researcher and activist Cheri Gurse to learn more about ourselves and each other. In small group settings people talk about race, culture, differences and similarities while developing trust.
The Fund of Santa Barbara is a nonprofit community foundation that supports organizations working for social, economic, environmental & political change in Santa Barbara County. This includes grassroots organizing against discrimination of all kinds, supporting the rights & dignity of working people, promoting community self-determination, organizing for peace and nonviolence, working to improve the quality of our environment, and building cross-issue/cross-constituency coalitions and alliances. The Fund raises money through donations of all sizes in order to provide grants and technical assistance. Since its founding in 1980, The Fund for Santa Barbara has awarded more than $5 million to over 1,000 projects. www.fundforsantabarbara.org.