by Kelly Keeley

June here at Peace Learning Center has already been so full of learning and love. In addition to fulfilling my regular communication duties, I was able to attend the internship training and an Implicit Bias Workshop that PLC offers to the community. Being surrounded by so many like-hearted individuals, who were all eager to share our passion with the youth, helped put me in the shoes of the guests that would be visiting this summer. I was able to brainstorm activities that included a multitude of lessons, including those about teamwork and peace. We have a great group of young adults working with PLC this summer and throughout the season, you will be hearing more about them.

After the training concluded, I attended the Implicit Bias Workshop, which is a four-hour long workshop that helps people look inside themselves and figure out what implicit biases they have, along with analyzing gatekeepers in their communities and how it affects the work they do. Before attending, I had no idea what implicit bias was, but growing up with a focus on the environment and human rights, I was certain I had no such thing. For those of you who might also be confused, implicit bias is defined as “the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decision in an unconscious manner.” Therefore, one is involuntarily and without awareness placing bias on other people based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, age, and appearance. As I took the Harvard Implicit Bias Surveys and heard community members speak of their experiences, I realized that we all have some sort of hidden bias.

Through the workshop, two PLC staff members, Clare and Mame, went over strategies to lessen our own implicit bias, while we brainstormed goals and ways to mitigate those said biases. We were also reminded of the importance of kindness and empathy in a community and how to effectively work together to create change in the world today. Personally, I do not think a four-hour session is long enough to rid yourself of all implicit biases, but it is definitely a start. I have been sharing the lessons I’ve learned and urging everyone to attend the next workshop on July 26th at 12:30 pm.

If you would like to attend or see more information about the trainings offered, please visit our website here. I’d love to see you there!