As a leading provider of therapeutic and education services, Momentous Institute focuses on building and repairing social-emotional health — developing kids who become self-regulated, good communicators, problem-solvers, empathetic, grateful, gritty and optimistic.
So you’re excited that we’ve started a new series on race, and you’re eager to read our tips on how to work with students from different cultural backgrounds, or how to rid the world of racism. We’ll get to that – well, maybe not the second one – but there’s something we have to do first. We have to talk about the starting line.
While most professionals who work with kids believe that they’re genuinely accepting of all and nonjudgmental, the truth is, studies show that most people have hidden or implicit biases that shape how we feel and behave. The thing about implicit biases is that we don’t always notice that we have them. It’s not overt racism, like believing that one race is superior or that all people of a certain race are inferior. But it’s there all the same. No matter what background we come from, what race we identify as, how our parents raised us, what type of community we grew up in, we all carry prejudices and biases.
So, the starting line is you.
We have to do the work on ourselves first. What biases do you have? What assumptions do you make about certain types of people, or certain cultures? What exposure have you had with various groups? What groups have you never interacted with at all?