The Equal Justice Society announced the launch of the National Implicit Bias Network (implicitbias.net) on June 1, 2017.
EJS had been working with social scientists, lawyers, and activists to build a national network focused on advancing the understanding of implicit bias, racial anxiety, stereotype threat, and other mind science phenomena since our inception in 2000.
We started developing this Network long before the presidential election and thought carefully about the context of implicit bias in a new era of increased overt racism in American society.
At the same time, we saw noteworthy progress in the courts related to implicit bias. In May 2017, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision containing a groundbreaking acknowledgment that modern-day discrimination is more likely caused by “nuanced decisions” and implicit bias.
In Woods v. City of Greensboro, the court reinforced established precedent saying that just because plaintiffs claiming race discrimination were treated favorably in the first instance does not mean they are foreclosed from trying to prove that subsequent unfavorable treatment by the same actor is discriminatory.
It was clear to us that while we must still advance the understanding and applications of implicit bias – it was important to do so with a modified approach in order to remain relevant during an era of rising explicit discrimination.
The National Implicit Bias Network aspires to be a leading resource and voice on implicit bias and the phenomenon’s interaction with structural racism. We will also address other mind science phenomenon including racial anxiety and stereotype threat.
The Network will focus on implicit bias education outreach to allies in the progressive and the resistance communities to reduce structural race and gender barriers impeding progress of our movement. The Network will also be a platform for scholars, organizers, and advocates to translate academic research into practical information and tools that can be used to explain and address inequality.
We kicked off the National Implicit Bias Network with a founding membership of more than 40 attorneys, jurists, social scientists, scholars, and advocates. Our initial Network family was selected organically, and not meant to represent the complete universe of implicit bias experts. If you think we missed you in this initial group of members, we want to hear from you.
We hope to open membership in the Network in the fall of 2017. If you’re interested in joining, visit http://implicitbias.net/members.
And later in 2017, we’ll be announcing details of a national convening on implicit bias and other mind science phenomenon.
The National Implicit Bias Network is made possible with funding from W.K. Kellogg Foundation and The California Endowment. We thank them for their support!
Equal Justice Society