The Series on Racial Equity and Inclusion

The Series on Racial Equity & Inclusion is a multi-part series that will explore race and equity.

Stylized Logo from our Series on Racial Equity and Inclusion


Past Seminars:

November 17, 2020: Part II, How to Cultivate an Inclusion Mindset  

Keynote Speaker, Kisha Dixon

As a training leader, public speaker, and culture change agent, Kisha Dixon, The Training Asscoiates Senior Learning Consultant, has seen leadership defined numerous ways over the years. With over almost 25 years of experience designing and facilitating behavior-based sales, coaching, and leadership solutions, Kisha's approach is refreshingly unique. Kisha is a specialist in guiding large groups like ours through difficult conversations about the impact of race, culture and diversity centered around the ideals of equity and inclusion. During our conversations with her, we were impressed by her unique energy of being relatable, transparent, and honest – with a perfect touch of humor. Some of the organizations that her work has impacted include America Online, Girls Scouts of America, multiple regional banks and credit unions including The Coca-Cola Family Federal Credit Union, Toll Brothers Luxury Homes, and Estee Lauder Companies.

      Audience Takeaways:

  • Explore how our circle of influence informs unconscious racial and cultural bias
  • Understand the relationship between bias and racism—how does it grow?
  • Explore how choosing language of empathy and inclusion can change the way see things—and how others respond
  • Discover simple things you can do confront your own unconscious bias through learning and exposure to racial and cultural experiences different from your own

Due to technical error we are unable to provide a recording of this specific seminar in our series as we had originally planned. Please enjoy these comprehensive PDFs which you can download:

Special thanks to our seminar presenters who made Part II in this series possible: Greater Lowell Community Foundation, Enterprise Bank, Lowell Development & Financial Corporation, Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce, The Lowell Plan, Lawrence Partnership, Essex Community Foundation, Non-Profit Alliance of Greater Lowell, and The Theodore Edson Parker Foundation.




September 29, 2020: Part I, Exploration and Awareness  

Keynote Speaker, Deo Mwano 

Deo Mwano is a community advocate whose work with Southern New Hampshire University’s College for America and the Department of Education for the State of New Hampshire, preceded him starting his own consultancy. Even before all of this, Deo had been independently hosting his own in-person community forums under the theme of “We Are All Human.” He lives and breathes this work. He is skilled in creating space for difficult conversations about racial bias and its systemic impact having done this with partners throughout the nation, regionally within New England, and locally. We are grateful for his leadership in helping all of us learn more about the powerful impact that bias has in dehumanizing and pulling us apart, so that we can become better at disrupting these patterns. 

      Audience Takeaways:

  • Understand the social construct of racism in America
  • Understand that our history is not everyone’s history
  • Understand that we all have biases
  • Understand the manifestation of microaggression
  • What can we do about it?


Recommended Reading to Learn More About Disrupting Patterns of Racial Bias

  • Cherry, K., 2010. The Everything Psychology Book, 2Nd Edition. Cincinnati: F+W Media.
  • DiAngelo, R., n.d. White Fragility.
  • Jennifer L. Eberhardt, P., n.d. Biased: Uncovering The Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, And Do.
  • Reynolds, J., 2020. Stamped. New York: Little, Brown and Co.
  • Sue, D. and Spanierman, L., 2020. Microaggressions In Everyday Life. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.
  • n.d. Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between The World And Me.
  • Types of Racism

    Racism is a social construct to take advantage of others for resource and benefits.

    Three types of racism

    • Modern: More subtle, concealed in fabric of society.
    • Symbolic: Feeling that Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) are violating cherished values and making illegitimate demands for changes in the status quo.
    • Aversive: Conflict between the denial of personal prejudice and unconscious negative feelings and beliefs. For example, “You say you’re on our team, but deep inside, you really aren’t.”
  • Types of Bias

    We all have biases.

    • Confirmation Bias
      • People tend to listen to and favor information that confirms beliefs they already have.
      • We miss the opportunity to see people and meet them how they actually are.
      • Does bias happen first or the perception first?
    • Hindsight Bias
      • People see events, even random ones, as more predictable than they are. “I knew that was going to happen.” They shift their point of view to say they could have foreseen the event as happening that way.
      • We view events as inevitable. We rewrite history and how we remember things, so they fit our beliefs.
    • Anchoring Bias
      • We tend to be overly influenced by the first piece of information that we hear.
      • This adversely influences salary and price negotiations.
    • Misinformation Effect
      • Our memories of events tend to be influenced by things that happened after the event itself.
      • Our brain can be influenced by events that never occurred.
    • Actor Observer Bias
      • We attribute our behaviors to external factors, but attribute others’ behaviors to their internal factors.
      • We justify when we make a mistake.
    • False-Consensus Effect
      • Overestimating how much other people agree with our own opinions, beliefs, behaviors, attitudes, values.
      • We then tend to align ourselves with people with our same views.
    • Halo Effect Bias
      • Physical attractiveness stereotypes: We tend to think what is beautiful is good.
      • How we define beauty impacts how we define others’ worth.
      • Affects hiring.
    • Self-Serving Bias
      • People tend to give themselves credit for success but lay failures on outside causes.
      • We blame others for our shortcomings.
    • Availability Heuristic Bias
      • You believe something is more common than the reality
      • You start to believe in stereotypes and prejudice.
      • Walking down street, see someone of color and grab your purse tightly. Or landlord/renter chooses whether to lease/rent based on race.
    • Optimism Bias
      • We overestimate the likelihood that good things will happen to us while underestimating the probability that negative events will impact our lives.
      • When other people talk of negative events, we assume they’re exaggerating or misrepresenting their experience.
  • Manifestation of Microaggression

    Society has influenced how we see others and biases hold on to how we see the world. Those come together to form micro and macro aggressions.

    • Macroaggressions: Extreme forms of racism (lynching, burning and beating).
    • Microaggression: Speech or behavior that communicates hostile, derogatory, or negative attitudes towards stigmatized or culturally marginalized groups.
      • Micro-assault: Explicit racial verbal or nonverbal attack: name calling, avoidant behavior, discrimination.
      • Micro-insult: Rudeness and insensitivity, snubs.
      • Micro-invalidation: Communications that exclude, negate, or nullify the thoughts, feelings, or experiential reality.
  • Receiving Feedback

    To move these conversations forward, we must be able to hear feedback and criticism without reacting/responding with negative feelings (attacked, shamed, accused, judged, etc.) or behaviors (withdrawing, arguing, denying, seeking absolution, etc.). 


  • Actions Towards Ending Racism
    • Design relationships/alliances. Get to know your community and find common ground.
    • Transparent accountability and consideration of different perspectives. Have to create a safe space.
    • Co-design solutions. Do the relationship building so whites are not designing solutions for people of color.
    • Create inclusive policies.
    • Address racial issues in your environment.
    • Learn from those who have knowledge of racial issues beyond Anglo perspectives and materials.
    • Diversify your social activities.
    • Celebrate diversity.

Leaving Site Confirmation