Training to Counter Unconscious Bias

Faculty and staff training part of Roos Advocate for Community Change

UMKC people are taking thoughtful action on campus and in our community to ensure lasting and comprehensive change through Roos Advocate for Community Change, a new campus-wide effort announced in June.

It is a significant component of the UMKC response to the tragic death of George Floyd and the vital national conversation on racism it has spawned.

Chancellor Mauli Agrawal is leading this effort, working with a broad leadership group of faculty, staff and students. Activity is comprehensive, with intensive work being done across campus. One such example is the commitment for mandatory professional development for all UMKC faculty and staff by the end of this calendar year.

Beginning Sept. 16, faculty and staff will be required to attend a virtual session of “Unconscious Bias, Microaggressions, and What to do About Them.”

The training will focus on understanding and identifying bias and microaggressions, how to mitigate them and how to respond when you see them carried out by others. The training will offer employees concrete examples of microaggressions, insights on how unconscious bias influences decision-making, interactive conversation and breakout groups. Managers and supervisors will attend similar sessions with an expanded dialogue on how to address microaggressions and bias when it happens.

“I’m really excited for this training. We’ve known that it was needed and now is the time to make it mandatory,” says Susan Wilson, Ph.D., vice chancellor of the UMKC Division of Diversity and Inclusion.

Training sessions will be conducted via Zoom and last one hour and 15 minutes. There will be 36 sessions offered, with a maximum capacity of 60 people per training. Employees can sign up for the sessions directly through MyLearn.

University leadership attended a training earlier this summer with Andrea Hendricks, Ed.D., senior executive director of diversity and inclusion strategy at Cerner.

Professional development efforts are just one piece of Roos Advocate for Community Change. Other initiatives include the Critical Conversations series, virtual resource center and Troost to Prospect partnerships.

Published: Sep 4, 2020