Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Associate Director of Admission Janine Jones spoke about implicit bias and microaggressions at a virtual educational event held by the University of Southern California’s (USC) Athletics Black Lives Matter Team on Nov. 17.
Speaking to USC student-athletes and staff, Jones said implicit biases are stereotypes and views that affect one’s thoughts, beliefs and actions unconsciously.Jones said it is important to recognize and reject those biases.
“Our implicit biases are in our subconscious, so it is critically important that we spend the time to take them out of the subconscious and to put them into the conscious,” Jones said.
Jones then described the differences between being non-racist and anti-racist. She highlighted the dangers of being a bystander and the importance of fighting against racism.
“Being non-racist facilitates inaction, where we sit and we watch the mistreatment of others on the nightly news or on social media without doing anything else, and the problem is, we oftentimes sit there with disgust, and we don’t take that next action,” Jones said.
Jones provided three steps to confront implicit biases: detect, reflect and reject. Then, she urged students to read and educate themselves on the topic of racism.
“We have to continue this work and be continually committed and dedicated and devoted to this work,” Jones said.
Jones ended the meeting by discussing her hope that the future generation will do the work needed to make positive changes.
She also emphasized the importance of standing up to racism, sharing a quote from Albert Einstein: “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”