Frequently Asked Questions - and DeEtta's Answers - About Bias

Artwork by Olivia Kang for Outsmarting Human Minds. Learn the science of implicit bias at

I am frequently asked questions about bias. Broad questions such as, “what is it?” and “how does it work?” to more specific asks such as, “how does it impact relationships with different people, groups, and in the workplace?” These are exactly the kind of topics and substantive discussions that regularly take place in the DJA course, “Reducing the Negative Impact of Bias.” I want to share some of these questions and answers more broadly. Hopefully, this will generate conversations that will help you along your own journey of personal growth.

All humans have bias. Whether it's positive or negative, conscious or unconscious, bias shows up every day in our thoughts, behaviors, and processes.

Bias is also a key topic related to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) because of the implications it has on so many aspects...

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Words Do Hurt

Photo Credit: National Museum of African American History & Culture


Written by Jerome Offord Jr., Ph.D.

Words, they do hurt!  When I was a child, I repeatedly heard the old-time saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” This saying was reflective of the supposed toughness and endurance of the American spirit and was recited by children across the country for generations. Within my own family, this proverb was employed as a deflection to bullying. The verse had a peculiar yet straightforward message: your intimidator cannot harm you unless they resort to physical violence. 

However, when words degrade, embarrass, incite hate, or are microaggressive, they demonstrably cause harm and pain. The amplification of harmful words can spawn civil unrest and catalyze violence. Look no further than the recent terrorism that transpired on the U.S. Capital. Five people lost their lives in that attack on our democracy, and...

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