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Video recap: Strategies for eliminating bias

Today, systemic racism is the target of a resurgent movement in the U.S. and around the world. If nonprofits want to be part of the solution, and be truly effective in carrying out our missions, we must first understand, confront, and overcome our own unconscious bias, both personally and in our organizations.

“Some people call it 'implicit bias,' some people say 'blind spots,' but we all have it,” said Nonprofit University Instructor Tiffany Simpson-Crumpley, introducing the new course Strategies for Eliminating Bias in Nonprofit Organizations. “We have to start with ourselves, and then work our way out.”

“Some people call it 'implicit bias,' some people say 'blind spots,' but we all have it."

A longtime consultant and trainer, Simpson-Crumpley led a supportive, confidential, practical discussion of the ways bias shows up in individuals and in nonprofits, and the tools we can use to correct for it and create a culture of inclusion.

“After government agencies, nonprofits are the next in line for meeting the needs of vulnerable populations,” said Simpson-Crumpley. That’s why it’s imperative for us to have “a working understanding of our own hearts and minds around these issues.”

To help you get started, check these five segments from the half-day course (edited to ensure all participants and their contributions remain confidential).

Part one: Holding the conversation, and why you should

Opening the discussion, Simpson-Crumpley discusses shared agreements for holding any courageous conversation and the ways that unconscious bias impact nonprofits.

To help participants uncover their own unconscious bias, Simpson-Crumpley pointed to the bias tests created by Harvard’s Project Implicit, particularly the test covering race.

Part two: What is racism, exactly?

Defining the terms involved in understanding bias, including the relationship between racism and economic power and the role of individuals in perpetuating systemic discrimination.

Simpson-Crumpley also pointed to these videos for help understanding systemic racism:
    • Systemic racism explained
    • Privilege explained in a $100 race
    • Interview with teacher and diversity trainer Jane Elliot

Part three: Steps to take right now

Tips for dismantling unconscious bias – in yourself, your teams, your board, and even your family.


Part four: How bias shows up in nonprofits

What can happen when we overlook the voices of marginalized groups, including the people we serve and the people we work with, and how to better tap into their expertise.


Part five: How to develop a culture of inclusion

Seven principles that define a culture of inclusion, and strategies to put them in place – from sharing power and practicing cultural curiosity to rethinking measurements and hiring “blind.”


For more video playback from GCN’s educational events, visit our YouTube channel – and be sure to subscribe to keep up with all the updates.

Marc Schultz is communications editor at GCN.

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