Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire to host virtual unconscious bias training

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — A local nonprofit organization says it wants to raise awareness in the community about unconscious biases, which may be more common than people realize.

The Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire plans to host an online training session, titled “Raising Consciousness about Unconscious Bias.”

The webinar’s goal, which will take place on Oct. 30 from 9 a.m. to noon,  is to help people understand how their deeply held beliefs and perspectives could affect the quality of their personal and work relationships, decisions and behaviors.

“An unconscious bias may be the fact that you feel that girls are not really good in the sciences,” Dr. Chiquetta Thompson, youth education manager for the Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire, told WSAV NOW.

“Maybe you were raised to think that, or maybe you’ve watched that in the media, so when you are in a certain situation where there’s a girl who may be doing something in engineering or the sciences, your thought may be, ‘no, this is not the field for her because she’s a girl,’” Thompson said.

“That’s just a gender bias, but there are other biases that are associated with race, as well,” she added.

The Mediation Center, which aims to “provide justice and equality to Savannah residents,” announced that it is hosting the online training session in light of recent racial tensions.

Diversity and inclusion expert Debra Nelson, president of Elevate Communications, will lead the webinar and discuss ways to prevent implicit biases from impacting work and interpersonal relationships.

The personal development coach will also cover strategies that can enhance professional success.

“I think [attendees] will take away the fact that we all have unconscious biases and how they impact how we relate to people,” Thompson said. 

“In the long run, if we become more conscious of those unconscious biases, it will help us relate better in customer service, relationships on the job, those kinds of things,” she said.

The Mediation Center says it is still seeking sponsors for the event. To learn more about attending the virtual webinar, visit this link.

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