Know Your Bias, Take Action, Practice Acceptance
January 22, 2019
SALT LAKE CITY—“I don’t see color.” “But where are you really from?” “Let me help you with that.” Words are powerful, can hurt and reveal biases about race, ethnicity, ability and many other forms of identity. The We are Westminster campaign is a call to action for our campus community to recognize our biases, educate ourselves, address bias as we encounter it and practice acceptance.
For the We are Westminster campaign, a series of posters and images across campus demonstrate how to recognize bias, stand up to bias and define acceptance. The research on bias is clear: we all have them, and they can influence actions and decisions.
“Our community is only as inclusive or exclusive as we make it; it is reflected in our individual and collective actions,” said Marco Barker, Ph.D., associate vice president for diversity, equity & inclusion and chief diversity officer at Westminster. “Bias exists everywhere, but we each make the conscious decision to seek new ideas and new approaches to our work, broaden our understanding of ourselves and others and act in ways that promote constructive dialogue, critical thinking, equity and respect.”
Westminster is committed to fostering a community where everyone feels that they belong. Bias can negatively impact that effort and requires an active response to foster greater engagement and inclusivity. Even when people are unaware that they have shown or acted with bias and do not mean to offend, an expression of bias deserves a response and can be an opportunity for education.
“As an academic institution committed to inclusive excellence, learning how to identify and address biased behavior with skill and compassion is a basic competency,” said President Beth Dobkin. “The We are Westminster campaign is a great example of our commitment to creating a learning environment in which everyone can succeed.”
Visit www.westminstercollege.edu/bias for more information about We Are Westminster, examples of bias, how to report a bias event and resources for responding to bias. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request your own posters.
Westminster is a private, independent, and comprehensive college in Salt Lake City, Utah. Students experience the liberal arts blended with professional programs in an atmosphere dedicated to civic engagement. With the goal of enabling its graduates to live vibrant, just, and successful lives, Westminster provides transformational learning experiences for both undergraduate and graduate students in a truly student-centered environment. Faculty focus on teaching, learning, and developing distinctive, innovative programs, while students thrive on Westminster’s urban Sugar House campus within minutes of the Rocky Mountains.