Do you want to see positive development in the areas of diversity, inclusion, and progressive justice, but feel you haven’t been able to do anything tangibly or concretely to make a difference?
I’m having a lot of conversations with leaders, educators, and parents about this recently. People tell me they are troubled and still struggling to process heartbreaking occurrences, such as:
- The loss of 9 lives in the Charleston church shooting in June
- Police brutality against people like Michael Brown and Freddie Grays
- Civil rights violations against people like Sandra Bland and Ahmed Mohamed
- Unjustifiable violence against children of color, such as the female student at Spring Valley High School in South Carolina who was drug across the room by an officer and the young girl who was slammed to the ground by an officer in McKinney, Texas after a pool party disagreement
- On Sunday morning at Kerbey Lane in Austin, TX where a restaurant of staff and people didn’t bother to step in — simply looked the other way — while Muslim-American citizens Sirat Al-Nahi and Leilah Abdennabi were aggressively harassed by a racist customer
This is not an exhaustive list, and it doesn’t even tackle the everyday bias and discrimination people are experiencing.
At Jelani Consulting, we are on a mission as social innovators. We are working to build technologies that will help people confront and beat issues around bias and discrimination. Here are some of the reasons you should help:
We need awareness and practical tools
People I talk with tell me how they are experiencing visceral reactions when they learn about or witness bias or discrimination, but even though they realize the urgency in the landscape they admit they haven’t been able to tangibly or concretely figure out what to do as a next step beyond their personal or organizational mission statements. Awareness is the first step, but it isn’t enough. Many new training programs on unconscious bias are falling short because they don’t give people the tools and support they really need for this ongoing work.
We need to be “inoculated” against unconscious bias
One of the reasons we want to move these tools online is because as companies and communities become more skilled with dealing with unconscious bias, they will put pressure on others to do the same. More people will realize they should be doing this in their organization and the proposal to do so will not seem controversial, outlandish, or as scary. The goal is for this to be normal, more mainstream.
We need to know how and be willing to confront discrimination and move forward
Let’s acknowledge, people are going to make mistakes. If you are unwilling to make mistakes, you will be unable to do this work and you won’t be able to change or help other people change for the better. People need tools and support to help them accept accountability for mistakes, make amends for them, and to reflect the learning in their actions moving forward for the better.
Our campaign gives back by supporting educators
As a society, we all have a responsibility to do a better job for teachers. This campaign will have a direct impact on our society in general. Contributing, and helping us provide these tools and resources for free to pre-K through 12th educators, you will be tangibly and concretely making a difference.
We have launched a Kickstarter campaign for our Unconscious Bias eLearning project. We need your support to make this campaign a success. Please join us and our supporters — Lenovo, Christopher Kennedy, Hugh Forrest, Sarita Geisel Graphic Design, Urban Co-Lab, and EmPowerment Entertainment. Support our project today to be a facilitator of fairness and #BeatUnconscousBias.
Also published on Medium.