Implicit Bias Training held at the National Center for State Courts
Implicit bias is defined as a schema, also known as templates of knowledge, through which the brain performs some operations automatically. This process can result in bias that operates outside of conscious awareness. It creates implicit or hidden bias against others without the person realizing it.
Through a State Justice Institute grant awarded to the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts (National Consortium), fourteen training sessions in 2014 were held throughout the United States. The last Implicit Bias training session was held on December 15th at the National Center for State Courts (National Center) office in Williamsburg, Virginia. For the court audience and others who couldn’t attend the training at the National Center, a live stream was provided via both the National Center’s and National Consortium’s websites.
Kimberly Papillon, Esq. a Judicial Professor and Lecturer on Neuroscience in Decision-Making and the Law conducted the Implicit Bias training at the National Center. She explained the neuroscience behind the decision-making process and how decisions are made that are unconsciously bias-based according to the functionality of the person’s brain.
Kimberly has developed various tools that can be used for implicit bias awareness and she explained the “Decision-Making Matrix” chart with the participants. Additionally, Kim has developed twelve steps and strategies for increasing fairness. Two of the twelve steps are:
1. Receive Effective Education throughout the Process of Implementing the Tools: Decision-makers should receive education that creates awareness, motivates individuals and institutions to change and instruct on meaningful strategies for change. In order to change, decision-making individuals must receive initial courses that convince them that implicit association exists and that it affects their decisions. Participants should then take continued focused courses that allow them to implement tools and learn additional information in small portions over an extended period of time.
2. Take the Tests: Decision-makers should engage in an individual self-assessment of implicit biases and preferences. (Taking the Race IAT, Gender-Career IAT and any 2 additional IAT's). These self-assessments can demonstrate the levels of implicit association that may accompany amygdala and insula reactions in the brain. The levels of implicit association may also predict executive functioning in the prefrontal cortex (PFC).
Implicit Bias Assessment Tool
If you are interested in learning more about the twelve steps and strategies for increasing fairness and eliminating unconscious /implicit bias, please contact Kimberly Papillon at firstname.lastname@example.org.