Understanding Implicit Bias and Microaggressions

Lisa Werkmeister Rozas, PhD, LCSW

Friday, May 31, 2019
9 am – 3:30 pm
Location: Hartford Public Library, Downtown Branch, Rm 026 – use Arch St Entrance

This seminar provides at least one hour of content on Cultural Competence.

We all have biases and prejudices which are hidden assumptions and stereotypes that exist on an unconscious level. These unconscious biases are often related to one of many social identity groups (e.g., race, gender, social class). These biases influence how we respond to and interact with all individuals, but particularly those from different cultures, religious groups, or race and ethnicities; those whom we perceive as “other.” Often what gets the most attention are overt behaviors that reveal our prejudices and demonstrate discrimination. What is frequently overlooked or not discussed are the unconscious biases that get reflected in the form of microaggressions. Microaggressions occur as the result of implicit bias and can be interpreted as commonplace verbal, behavioral or environmental insults, whether unintentional or intentional, that demean or insult others. Implicit bias is learned through the process of socialization, the same system that confers power and privilege on individuals according to their social identity group.

The goal of this seminar is to help social workers reflect on their own unconscious biases and become aware of microaggressions that are a part of their everyday lives. Emphasis will be placed on identifying and managing unconscious biases and microaggressions and understanding how they affect interpersonal relationships, whether with clients or colleagues.

This seminar will enable you to:

  • understand how implicit bias is a part of everyone’s socialization process
  • create awareness surrounding the common occurrences of microaggresions
  • understand the varying levels of microaggressions
  • explore the outcomes associated with the experience of microaggressions