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Exposing the Myth of Racial Colorblindness

Dr. Aram deKoven, associate professor of education studies at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, will discuss “Subconsciously Held Bias: Exposing the Myth of Racial Colorblindness” Monday, March 17.

The lecture will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Jephson Science Center 104. The presentation, free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Division of Academic Affairs, Division of Social Work, Office of Multicultural Affairs, and the Social Work Club.

deKoven holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and music from State University of New York at Oswego and a master’s degree in human resources management from Mercy College. He earned a second master’s degree in education and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Cornell University.

deKoven began teaching in after school programs and working with at-risk youth. Later, he taught in Cornell University’s teacher education program and served as visiting assistant professor of education at SUNY Cortland.

“Aram’s message applies across a broad range of bias and is generally geared toward educators,” said Gretchen Rymarchyk, assistant professor of social work. “Teachers might be an obvious target [of those who have bias], but we are all to blame. It happens to adults as well as kids. We don’t mean to do it, but it’s there.”

But Rymarchyk says those in other majors, such as nursing, social work, and occupational therapy, will also benefit from this presentation.

“These students will one day be in a position of power with their client, patient, or student,” said Rymarchyk, “so if they are exercising bias, than they are not getting the outcomes that they should.”

Bias and racism are learned, not inherent, according to Rymarchyk.

“We have bias because we are raised in a society that has on-going oppression,” she added. “I don’t think I have a particular hatred toward others, but I do have bias and I try to pay attention to it. My friends and family have it. I know it’s unintentional, and we don’t mean to have bias, but I see it all around me.”

Added Rymarchyk: “I hope the audience comes to the presentation with a truly open mind, and walks out with ideas on how they can uncover their own bias.”

If you cannot come to the presentation, click to attend via Adode Connect.

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