Thank you for choosing this resource to learn more about implicit bias and think about ways to share it with others. This course contains learning engagements organized into three overarching areas:
- Recognizing Implicit Bias
- Questioning Implicit Bias
- Transforming Implicit Bias
Each area has multiple learning engagements you can utilize for self-learning, facilitating a participatory class, or sermon preparation. The General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) is excited for church leaders, like you, who have committed to the work of having conversations that matter (Vital Conversations), honoring cultural differences (Intercultural Competency), and dismantling policies and practices that hinder an all-inclusive justice (Institutional Equity). This online course is one step toward bridging the gap between what we proclaim and the realities of implicit bias that stand in the way.
Who is this for?
This resource has been created for anyone who is interested in learning and teaching others about implicit bias. In Missouri, we are committed to understanding our own biases. Our work in race and culture exists to help us become a place for people from diverse cultures and generations so that, ultimately, we become a Church for all God’s people.
The learning engagements included in each section allow for individual work, group work, and sermon preparation. All of the learning engagements recognize and lift up the reality that context is known best by those on the ground. Thus, while this course provides multiple entry points for learning about, thinking through, and transforming action regarding implicit bias, it does not contextualize the information for you. Implicit Bias: What We Don’t Think We Think honors the contextual wisdom that you and others will bring to this material. Each exercise is an invitation to the sacred journey of discovering with your church and community how God is leading you to use this material faithfully within your context.
Why is this important?
The United Methodist Church is a worldwide church called to reach more people, younger people, and more diverse people for Jesus Christ and the transformation of the world. Even though many of us have explicitly stated that this is our goal, we look around at the Church in Missouri, and find that it remains over 90% white; we see that tribalism and xenophobia still occurs in in parts of our United Methodist connection; and many of us still have trouble figuring out why cross-racial/cross-cultural (CRCC) ministry settings aren’t as successful as we would hope.
In Missouri, we desire to become a brave, empowering place for people from diverse cultures and generations so that we can become a Church for all God’s people. We seek to do this by equipping Conference leaders and local churches for multicultural leadership, cross-cultural connection and healing justice.
This course is one step toward bridging the gap between what we proclaim and the realities of implicit bias that stand in our way. By looking at “what we don’t think we think” we can get to one root of the problem between our intended goals and the actual outcomes.