Giving Back

Community Coalition on Race Roundtable: 'We're All Susceptible to Bias'

May 15, 2014 at 8:59 AM

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Anyone can be biased without realizing it, regardless of their race of gender.

That was the conclusion of those attending the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race roundtable discussion on implicit biases, held at the Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel on Wednesday night.

“People of color discriminate against people of color,” said Anthony Greene, vice chairman of the coalition’s board of trustees. Greene said. “Women discriminate against women if those are the messages they receive. The point is, everyone is susceptible to these sorts of biases.”

Sign Up for E-News

The event explored the racial, sexual and other biases that people come into contact with every day but that are not overtly expressed.

“When we talk about implicit biases, it’s not a simple concept,” said Elizabeth Williams-Riley, president and CEO of the American Conference on Diversity. “It’s not something that’s easy to identify. It’s something we do without really thinking about it because they’re ingrained by everyday conditioning.”

Attendees watched a series of videos documenting subtle racial and sexual discrimination and talked about the biases in each as well as their effect on the wider community.

“We’re exposed to something like 150,000 messages every day,” Williams-Riley said. “A lot of these messages deal with things we do not see, so we don’t realize how they change the way we think.”

She said that the goal of the evening was to get participants to question what makes them think the ways they do.

After discussing their findings in small groups, participants shared their reactions with the rest of the attendees.

“We’re all conditioned to think that certain images go into certain ‘boxes’,” Greene said. “And if someone doesn’t know which box to put something in, they don’t know what to think. That’s why people sometimes don’t realize when they’re being biased.”

It is unfortunate that discussions on subconscious discrimination are still necessary, but it is good that the need for them is recognized, according to Williams-Riley.

“It’s important, when we encounter these moments, to think about perception versus reality,” she said.

However, society is slowly more tolerant of people with differing backgrounds, according to one attendee.

"Having grown up in South Orange, it's sad that we still need to have these types of discussions," said Tammarra Jones.  "But I think things are changing qualitatively for the better."

The key to countering implicit biases is for people to explore ideas outside of their comfort zones.

“We must get to know people who are different than us,” said Nancy Gagnier, executive director of the Community Coalition on Race. “We need to get to know them well, and we need to do it often.”

More information about the Community Coalition on Race and their efforts can be found on their website.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

SOMA

South Orange Police Blotter - Six Adult Arrests Reported

December 10, 2016

South Orange Police Blotter as of December 10

Adult Arrest - Isiah Martin, a 24 year old Newark resident, and Kelly Green, a 24 year old Newark resident, were arrested on Wednesday, Dec. 7,  at approximately 1:45 p.m. for outstanding arrest warrants out of Irvington. Officers stopped the subjects, who were driving a 2000 Oldsmobile, for motor vehicle violations in municipal parking ...

Maplewood Police Blotter - Two Daytime Home Burglaries Reported

November 30 - Burglary; Between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. a home on Warren Rd. was forcibly entered.  Jewelry and electronics were reportedly removed from the home.

December 1 - Burglary Attempt; During the daytime hours, entry was attempted to a home on the 100 block of Parker Ave.

December 1 - Burglary; During the daytime hours a home on Melman Terr. was forcibly ...

Holiday Events at Maplewood's Dickens Village

December 9, 2016

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The "little houses" are back in Ricalton Square in Maplewood Village, with a tree lighting and visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus on Dec. 3 (read about it here) and plenty more Dickens Village activities planned for Saturday, Dec. 10, and Saturday, Dec. 17, and a menorah lighting on Tuesday, Dec. 27. 

Breakfast with Santa is on December 10 at St.

Holiday Celebration this Sunday at the Springfield Avenue Gazebo in Maplewood

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - This Sunday, Dec. 11, is the 4th Annual Holiday Celebration at the Springfield Avenue Gazebo (1688 Springfield Ave.) from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

A program of the Maplewood Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs and the Springfield Avenue Partnership, and sponsored by Meineke Car Care Center, the event will feature cookies, hot chocolate, photos with ...

South Orange Celebrates the Season with 'Hometown Holiday' on Dec. 10

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - This Saturday, Dec. 10, is the return of the Hometown Holiday celebration in South Orange featuring Santa Claus, an Elf Parade, and the annual tree lighting. There will also be live music, merchant specials, and free two hour parking in South Orange.

Santa Claus will be at the South Orange firehouse for visits and pictures with kids from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Upcoming Events

Sun, December 11, 11:00 AM

Ethical Culture Society of Essex County, Maplewood

Amy Blake: Educational Initiative Program on ...

Education

Mon, December 12, 1:00 PM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

Holiday Cookie Swap at the Millburn Library

Education Food & Drink

Carousel_image_5094ec48d735cc739d3e_princeton

Tue, December 13, 6:00 PM

The Westin Princeton At Forrestal Village, Princeton

ACG NJ Announces Princeton Event December 13th, ...

Arts & Entertainment Business & Finance Food & Drink

Wed, December 14, 7:00 PM

Lower Memorial Hall of St. Teresa's, Summit

Culinary Arts Career Exploration Program Open ...

Education Food & Drink

Obituary: Murray H. Ross

November 27, 2016

Murray H. Ross

Born in Glen Cove, NY on Jan. 17, 1926
Departed on Nov. 21, 2016 and resided in Maplewood, NJ

Murray H. Ross, 90 of Maplewood formerly of Carlisle, PA died at Winchester Gardens on Mon, Nov 21, 2016. 

Murray was born in Glen Cove, Long Island. He lived most of his life in Cranford, NJ before moving to Carlisle, PA. He moved to Maplewood 2 ...

Search for Next Director of Special Services & Survey

November 28, 2016

The following was sent via email on Nov. 28 to the South Orange Maplewood School District Community 

Dear South Orange & Maplewood School Community,

Dr. Leroy Nunery of Atlantic Research Partners is the consultant selected to lead our search for the new Director of Special Education. The following timeline has been developed to lead us to a recommendation to the ...

How to Avoid Inspection Pitfalls

Buying or selling a home is not for the faint of heart. The older homes in this area are charming; but with age, comes issues. Getting an accepted offer is only step 1 in the process. Along the way the agreement can be derailed during attorney review, the appraisal, the mortgage process, and the inspection.

If you are planning to sell your home in the next few months, I recommend doing some ...

Court Date Set for Man Suspected of Killing Montclair College Student

December 9, 2016

NEWARK, NJ – Khalil Wheeler-Weaver, 20, of Orange, is set to appear in court on Tuesday, December 13, on charges that he allegedly killed New Jersey City University Sophomore Sarah Butler, 20, of Montclair.

Wheeler-Weaver will appear before the Hon. Ronald Wigler, PJ Cr. at the Essex County Superior Court, officials announced. 

Butler was ...

Hundreds of Gingerbread Creations on Display at Morristown's Frelinghuysen Arboretum

December 10, 2016

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Have you had a chance to walk through the Gingerbread Wonderland at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum? If you haven't, you better not wait. The gingerbread creations are only on display for two more days; Saturday December 10 from 10am to 4:30pm and Sunday December 11 from 10am to 4:30pm.

The 25th Annual Gingerbread Wonderland features over 100 ...

TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger Talks Local Travel Security at Seton Hall University

December 1, 2016

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger discussed the future of Newark International Airport and local travel security as a guest lecturer at Seton Hall on Tuesday night.

Neffenger spoke about his career as head of the TSA, as well as the success of the administration’s Instagram account @TSA, which has over 500,000 followers. He cited rehabilitating the public ...

Rahway River Study to See Completion; Lance Gets Water Infrastructure Package Passed

December 9, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07)  secured authorization of the Rahway River Basin Flood Risk Management Feasibility Study in the final water infrastructure package that passed the U.S. House on a 360 - 61 vote.  Lance’s Rahway River provision instructs the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to finish the study.  The U.S. Senate is expected to pass the measure ...

Gadzooks! A Very Arthurian Pantomime at the Burgdorff Center in Maplewood

Suburban Legend Presents Gadzooks! A Very Arthurian Pantomime January 6-8 and 13-15, 2017 at the Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts in Maplewood.

For the fifth straight year Suburban Legend brings you the perfect cure for the post-holiday blues with another uproarious play. Gadzooks! A Very Arthurian Pantomime opens at the Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, January 6 at ...

Second Suspect Arrested in Killing of Cabdriver in Orange

ORANGE, NJ - Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and Orange Police Director Todd Warren have announced that authorities have arrested a second suspect in connection with the Nov. 30 killing of Jonas Larose in Orange. Larose, a cabdriver was fatally shot at approximately 11 p.m.

A sixteen year old juvenile was arrested on December 2, 2016 and charged with the murder of Larose.