06/03/2019 by Carney Sandoe Staff | CS&A News
Implicit Bias Training with Brown University
As the lead consultant for our recently-established Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Practice Group, Lawrence Alexander has been busy working closely with many independent schools and colleges and universities, assisting them in their efforts around DEI. From a three-year project with East Woods School (NY), to an upcoming implicit bias training at Texas Christian University, and an engagement with Palmer Trinity School (FL) this summer, Lawrence is dedicated to facilitating courageous conversations around diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion, often training both faculty and and student leaders.
In early May, Lawrence held an implicit bias training for the admissions office at Brown University. Together, they explored bias through a systems approach with the goal of creating a more inclusive process. According to Emily Parker, Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at Brown, the university had been having ongoing conversations about how implicit bias influences their work. “However,” she says, “we had not embarked on any formal training beyond a brief introduction. After polling staff, it was clear that our colleagues were seeking guidance and feedback. The idea of a training was presented in the summer of 2018 and was decided upon in December when Lawrence Alexander and Jami Silver [Director of College Advising, Kingswood Oxford (CT)] were established as chosen presenters.”
The training day was broken up into two major sections. First, the department worked as a full group to break down the concepts of bias as well as reflections of what they do or don't do to address the needs of students of color in their admissions process. The second half of the day was a chance to break out in groups to workshop ideas of things they can do to improve their processes.
“What really stood out was Lawrence's ability to introduce concepts, but then also push us to create ideas that can bring tangible changes to the work we do,” says Emily. “Our colleagues shared very positive feedback with us, several of whom said it was one of the best workshops they had ever attended. The office is energized by the discussions and brainstorming and would be interested in continuing this type of work in the near future.”
Wherever your school or organization may be in terms of its cultural competency work or its diversity and inclusion efforts, CS&A welcomes the opportunity to facilitate a deeper level of understanding and growth with your team. Click here to learn more about CS&A's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Practice and to contact Lawrence Alexander.
In discussing Lawrence's expertise, Emily praises his thoughtfulness, intelligence, and charisma. “He is able to walk a very delicate line of being both approachable, kind and forgiving, as well as challenging and thought provoking. With an intense topic like implicit bias, he was able to guide us forward into a series of discussions that may otherwise have felt overwhelming. Lawrence has a special talent as moderator, teacher, and soundboard. In addition, his deep understanding of the college admission process meant that our work together could launch right into the heart of our challenges. I would highly recommend Lawrence to any office.”
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