Recognizing and managing your hidden or implicit biases

Nov 1, 2021, 7:06 PM | Updated: Nov 2, 2021, 11:02 am
Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon on KSL Newsradio.

SALT LAKE CITY — From a federal government investigation, the Davis School District learned recently that its school learning environments are hostile toward minorities. People and even organizations can be blind to their hidden or implicit biases. An expert discusses recognizing and combating concealed racial bias.

School district investigated 

The Justice Department has been investigating the Davis School District in Utah since July 2019. The investigation found that Black and Asian American students were harassed in the school district for years. Officials deliberately ignored complaints from parents and students, according to CNN

Chris Williams, a spokesman for the Davis School District, in response to the investigation, said: 

“When I read it, it didn’t sound like us. But in reality, it is us. We have a lot of work to do. We are not happy with what we read.”

Racial blind spot.

Sometimes we don’t see our hidden biases until they are revealed to us. Even if those implicit biases are hiding within an organization, such as a school district. 

How to manage hidden or implicit biases

University of Utah gender-studies professor Robert Kilo Zamora joins KSL NewsRadio’s Dave Noriega and guest host Jason Lee to discuss how to recognize and manage implicit biases.


Zamora said homogeneous groups can be blinded to the concerns and fears of minorities within a group.

“I think it’s 1% of the population that goes to that [Davis] school district are African-American and Asian-American. If they’re all white, and they’re not getting a chance to have some accountability, they can be replicating the bias that’s happening in the community over and over again,” Zamora said.

Dave asked how someone who suspects they may have implicit biases works toward correcting them without risking being called a racist.

“So how do we we balance this where we look and we work on ourselves without having to take the full brunt and the repercussions of being called a racist?”

Zamora said the more a person works to uncover their hidden or  implicit biases, the better he or she will become.

“We have to take on a learning stance for ourselves and for the community. . .  We were supposed to make mistakes when it comes to the diversity of our community. But can we from the mistake learn and grow from it?”

Dave closed by saying it’s a “great realization” that the Davis School District now has in acknowledging the racially hostile environment in the district schools. 

What is going to happen next to change the toxic environment?

“That’s something that we will continue to follow,” he said.

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Recognizing and managing your hidden or implicit biases