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Breaking Free From Bias

President Havidán Rodríguez kicked off the three-day Implicit Bias Intensive Training held in the Campus Center for more than 170 school, government, and community leaders.

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 9, 2017) — Joining forces with the New York State Education Department, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and the New York State My Brother’s Keeper Taskforce, UAlbany’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion is hosting a three-day conference in the Campus Center to examine implicit bias and the impact it has on younger generations.

Implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that subconsciously affect our understanding, actions and decisions. Developing over the course of a lifetime, implicit biases cause people to unknowingly harbor feelings and attitudes about other people on characteristics such as race, appearance, age and more.

The event, which has a particular focus on implicit bias within higher education as well as in K-12 communities across the state, includes a series of workshops, seminars, and panel discussions. Former White House Senior Advisor on Education Bryant T. Marks, who spearheaded President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative to support young men of color, is one of the featured speakers. More than 170 school, government, and community leaders are participating.

President Havidán Rodríguez kicked off the event, expressing the University’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion and commending those who have dedicated themselves to reducing discrimination.

“UAlbany is deeply committed to diversity and inclusion as a core institutional value and priority—and the conversations attendees will be having here over the next three days reflect that commitment,” Rodríguez said.

The Office of Diversity & Inclusion, which serves as a resource to the University community and works to further UAlbany’s ideals, collaborated with the State Education Department, Bloomberg Associates and My Brother’s Keeper to expand the conversation at a higher education level. Several UAlbany students were invited to participate and will speak on a panel discussion.

“This conference continues the work we are doing at UAlbany and is a critical part of helping advance our efforts toward Inclusive Excellence,” said Tamra Minor, chief diversity officer and assistant vice president for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

“We’re working diligently to move from compliance to inclusion,” said Minor. “Part of this forward movement is recognizing implicit bias and the role it plays in hindering our inclusion efforts. So it’s without hesitation or reservation that we would support programs and activities that provide the tools to move us toward excellence.”

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.