Overcoming implicit bias in faculty and staff


Professor Alex Madva talking to a group of students. Photo Credit: Alex Madva

Sandra Say

As part of the faculty and staff development program, the College of Social and Behavioral Science (CSBS) will host “Understanding & Overcoming Implicit Bias in Higher Education” on April 21 featuring Cal Poly Pomona (CPP) professor Alex Madva.

According to a New York Times article, implicit biases are thought processes that happen without people realizing.

Madva, a professor from the department of philosophy at CPP, has been involved in spreading awareness and educating others to overcome implicit bias.

Some of the topics that will be discussed at the event include the casual origins of implicit bias, evidence, types of bias such as age, race and ethnicity and how to reduce social bias.

“The main takeaways are to teach folks about the nature of contemporary prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination in higher education,” Madva said. “And to focus in on strategies that individuals and educational institutions can work on to address these issues”

According to Sheila Grant, a special assistant to the dean of CSBS, the program is part of the faculty and staff development in order to improve student success and graduation rate.

“I’m looking forward to learning more,” Grant said.

She also assures this is an opportunity for staff to be the best professors they can be. Although this event is only open to faculty and staff, the CSBS hopes to create one for students in the future.

“I’d also be happy to come back and give a talk specifically to students,” said Madva.

The event will be held in the Whitsett room in Sierra Hall 451 at 12:30 p.m and it’s free of charge to all faculty and staff.