‘I thought I was a pretty progressive-minded person. I’m not’ – Dan Bryson on implicit bias

‘I thought I was a pretty progressive-minded person. I’m not’ – Dan Bryson on implicit bias

By Karen Ocamb, Director of Media Relations

The ongoing work of DEIA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access) is difficult.  It requires looking at all we do through a lens of systemic oppression – but also turning that scrutiny inward, honestly looking at the possibility of implicit bias within the organization and within each member and then finding ways of being more inclusive, more equitable, and more representatives of the communities we serve. That’s also the behind the famous Harvard Implicit Bias Test.

Public Justice President Dan Bryson has taken those ideas and goals to heart with encouragement from his friend, Public Justice Vice-President Preston Tisdale, who says: ‘You don’t know what you don’t know.”

“I’ve always thought that I was a pretty progressive minded person, but I’m not. I have a lot of implicit biases. I grew up in North Carolina. There’s ways that I think and things that I do that there’s a bias there,” Bryson said about his personal experience confronting implicit bias.  “This meeting has been very good, particularly with [Public Justice DEIA advisor] Anton Gunn to help teach me how to explore those biases. Preston always said, ‘You don’t know what you don’t know.’ I took that to heart. That’s why I wanted — insisted upon — Anton doing a talk [for the Board]. Tell me. Teach me. Show me what I need to go read so that I can be a better, more effective leader of Public Justice. So I can be a better, more effective lawyer. So I can be a better person to try to deal with the racism and sexism that we have in our nation today.

“It’s so awful,” Bryson continued. “The things and the stories that I hear: the things that I don’t have to deal with, but… that African Americans and women still have to deal with. It has no place in our society. As an organization, Public Justice…needs to do anything we can to try to make…a more just society.”

Click here to watch Dan Bryson share on the Public Justice YouTube channel.

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