Yesterday evening, seven of us from the UU Church of Palo Alto attended “Being Different Together,” a community forum sponsored by the Palo Alto Human Relations Commission.
Rev. Kaloma Smith, pastor of the University AME Zion Church in Palo Alto, introduced the keynote speaker, Dr. Joseph Brown, a social psychologist who studies implicit bias, who currently works at Stanford University as the Graduate Diversity Recruitment Officer for the School of Humanities and Sciences and Associate Director for the Diversity & First-Gen Office. Dr. Brown’s doctoral research looked at how stereotypes and prejudice impacted minorities and women. Brown studied with Claude Steele, a social scientist who did research in stereotype threat, among other topics.
Brown said his goal was to find a way to talk about “getting into a more just community.” He said one way to do this is by using the concept of “microaggressions.” He acknowledged that the concept of “microaggression” as it has been popularized is controversial. But he approaches this from a social science perspective, where “microaggression” has been carefully defined and studied. Continue reading ““Being Different Together””