The Science of Diversity and Unconscious Bias
The Science of Diversity is a method of teaching universal, scientific reasoning as a tool to overcome dialog barriers and move forward in polarizing conversations. This method addresses fundamental weaknesses in the way we communicate and provide learners with the necessary skills to approach conversations about diversity issues scientifically. People do not always think of scientific reasoning as a path to understanding in emotionally charged conflicts. However, the nature of scientific reasoning causes us to pause, reflect, look to data for insight and reach scientific consensus.
The Science of Diversity method recognizes that in order to comprehend the complexities of our biases, it is necessary to understand their biological and psychological underpinnings. Many of the current agenda driven diversity and racial sensitivity programs have failed to recognize that people have biases deeply rooted in their personal memories and histories.
The Science of Diversity method stands out from such programs by recognizing that commanding people to get rid of their biases is often akin to asking them to shed their very legacies and identities. Diversity issues are nuanced, but without the ability to have truly open discussions, people will not feel safe to express their ideas, and real understanding and growth cannot be achieved.
This session will help participants to:
- Differentiate between the Science of Diversity method and traditional diversity approaches
- Understand the psychological process of the intergenerational transmission of injustice
- Examine the legacy of injustice & polarization.
About the Speaker:
Dr Mona Sue Weissmark
Dr. Mona Sue Weissmark is an award-winning professor, researcher, and author. Her work on the science of diversity has received global recognition, and she is widely recognized as a leading expert on diversity, inclusion, and polarized groups. Dr Weissmark is best known for her groundbreaking social experiment of bringing together descendants of slaves and slaveowners, and descendants of Holocaust survivors and Nazis at Harvard University. She teaches the ‘Psychology of Diversity’ course and conducts research on the science of diversity at Harvard, and her work has been featured in major publications such as the New York Times, The Guardian, JUF News, Harvard Magazine and many others.
Marcelle Giovannetti is a full time Assistant Professor in Messiah University’s Graduate Counseling Program in Pennsylvania, and also works part-time as a clinician in private practice at Purposefully Soaring LLC. She has presented on numerous occasions at national, regional, state and local conferences. Marcelle serves as a Teaching Assistant to Dr. Mona Sue Weissmark in the Psychology of Diversity course taught at Harvard.
Brian Chin, one of Dr. Mona Sue Weissmark’s research and teaching assistants, is a current graduate student at Harvard University. Brian graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and also served with distinction in the U.S Army (2011-2019) as an enlisted soldier specializing in Psychological Operations, a branch of the U.S Army focusing on Psychological Warfare.