Collaboration and Equity is on our focus this month, a perfect fit for the month that celebrates International Women’s Day. This years’ theme for International Women’s Day is #BreakTheBias.
Bias is located in our culture and our identity. Bias reveals itself in our communities and organizations. It reveals itself when we look around to see who is beside us, who we report to, who we learn from, and who is welcome. Bias is both conscious and unconscious.
Bias is something to be aware of because, regardless of how it shows up, it hinders our ability to move forward and fully realize a community that thrives. It hinders us because biases are not fact and this has a great influence on our decisions. So, what do we do?
Bias is not static, meaning it changes. We have the ability and choice to make personal changes and #BreakTheBias. Like any new thing we learn it takes time and practice. For us to learn new ways of thinking, to learn new ways to challenge ourselves to consider alternative information and to learn new ways to recognize our bias we need to learn and repeat, learn and repeat, and learn and repeat.
Our strategic planning reporting is an ideal chance for us to learn and repeat. Each year we receive reports on our strategic plan. This process involves reviewing our mission, vision, affirmation, values and goals to provide us all another opportunity for reflection and questioning to confirm we are moving forward in the direction that supports excellence in student achievement. With each decision the board makes there is opportunity to #BreakTheBias. An example of a tangible action the board took to #BreakTheBias was the development of the Anti-Poverty Policy. This policy has considerations build into it to ensure we are considering and calling out our bias in the decision-making process.
When we #BreakThe Bias we have the opportunity to create organizations and communities that thrive because of collaboration, diversity and equity.