Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion presents ‘Everyday Bias: A Cook-Ross Training’; first session Oct. 23

The Vanderbilt Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is launching its “Everyday Bias: A Cook-Ross Training” as part of an effort to support and equip the university community with tools to recognize their personal biases and how they can influence behaviors. The first session is scheduled for Oct. 23 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Kissam Center Multipurpose Room, and two additional sessions will be offered later in November.

Unconscious bias, also known as implicit bias, results from unconscious decision-making and assumptions about others based on one’s own background, personal experiences, societal stereotypes and the cultural context brought to interactions with others. Although biases are a part of human nature and can be a survival mechanism, they also can undermine an organization’s effectiveness and hinder the ability to foster an inclusive environment.

“While implicit bias is a natural process, understanding its roots and impact is critical to our growth as a community. Prejudices allow bias to become endpoints in our understanding, respect and engagement with one another. They place finite ceilings on our community’s ability to excel, thrive and serve as a benchmark to the world,” said James Page Jr., vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer. “We must resist these endpoints, remain culturally curious, be self-aware and always practice humility.”

The training is free, typically lasts two hours, and is open to members of the Vanderbilt community. Each session incorporates the Cook-Ross framework, which combines psychology and diversity approaches to help participants improve their interactions with other people. The framework also explores the neuroscience of unconscious bias and its potential impact on decision-making.

“Everyday Bias: A Cook-Ross Training” will be offered three times during the fall. Registration for any of the sessions is available through the Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Upcoming sessions for “Everyday Bias: A Cook-Ross Training”:

Tuesday, Oct. 23
1-3 p.m.
Kissam Center, Multipurpose Room C210

Wednesday, Nov. 14
9-11 a.m.
Kissam Center, Multipurpose Room C210

Wednesday, Nov. 28
9-11 a.m.
Kissam Center, Multipurpose Room C210

For more information, visit the Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion website.