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Monday, January 21 , 2019, 7:30 pm | Fair 55º


Implicit Bias Workshop For Local Parents Kicks Off Series

Santa Barbara experiences profiling, stereotyping

Just Communities Co-facilitators Jarrod Schwartz and Ana Huynh present an interactive bilingual workshop with help of Santa Barbara Area PTA Council.
Just Communities Co-facilitators Jarrod Schwartz and Ana Huynh present an interactive bilingual workshop with help of Santa Barbara Area PTA Council. (Courtesy photo)

Implicit bias training has been in the news lately because a Starbucks employee called 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.

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 everyone has about people who are different from themselves. 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 the 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 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:

Restorative Community Network Implicit Bias Workshops: Single three-hour sessions presented at a church, neighborhood association or club during July-September. Head facilitator: Rodriguez

Heart 2 Heart small groups: Participants meet in four 2-hour sessions to share personal stories of race and culture. Respectful communication, safety and trust encouraged. Co-facilitators: Sojourner Kincaid Rolle and Cheri Gurse

A Back to School Implicit Bias Workshop, details to be announced.

For more information, or to express interest in participating, or request a group discussion or workshop, visit 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. Visit 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. Visit www.rcnsb.org.

Heart 2 Heart was created by cultural artist and community educator Kincaid Rolle, and educator, researcher and activist 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. For more information, go to www.fundforsantabarbara.org.

— Linda Honikman for Fund of Santa Barbara.

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