This speaker will convince you that unconscious bias is baked into many institutions in our society. But she believes there is hope and also has surprising examples from her 15 years of research that offer concrete progress.

Photo Courtesy of Jewish Community Center of St. Louis

By Peg Cameron Gill

Join Jessica Nordell, author of The End of Bias: A Beginning: The Science and Practice of Overcoming Unconscious Bias, for an engaging hour-long talk examining the subject of bias and discrimination on Tuesday, Jan. 17, from 7-8 p.m. at The J (Jewish Community Center) of St. Louis, Mo., at The J, Staenberg Family Complex, Arts & Education Building, 2 Millstone Campus Drive.

Jessica will discuss what she’s learned in her 15 years of in-depth study focusing on the efforts being undertaken thus far to combat bias and discrimination in our society.

Via rigorous research, Jessica examines how society can reduce yet unexamined biases that wreak havoc in areas from education and health care, to policing and the workplace. Her approach is a holistic, all-encompassing one.

She looks at diversity training, being used across the country but without the hoped-for results. She examines what does work and delves into why: For example, how doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital helped end inequitable treatment of male and female patients with a special diagnostic checklist; the Swedish preschool where teachers upended traditional gender stereotyping by referring to the children as “friends” instead of “boys” and “girls,” and by carefully planning where toys are housed, keeping blocks and Legos by the play kitchen, so as not to draw distinctions between construction and homemaking; and the Oregon police unit that used the wellness practice of mindfulness along with specialized training and saw a startling drop in the use of force.

According to Hannah Dinkel, the director of Literary Arts at The J, Jessica hopes her book talk there – and all of her talks across the U.S. – will accomplish the following:

“My vision is for these community leader book discussions to a) bring the hopeful, actional ideas from the book to those wanting to combat bias and promote fairness in their organizations and b) enable powerful conversations on bias and justice among those who may not have had the chance to discuss together before.”

Learn more here about Jessica’s author talk. Click here to order a copy of her book.

Bibliophile Bonanza Book Sale

And while we’re on the subject of books and book discussions, find your next great read at a used book sale of epic proportions, a 5-day bibliophile bonanza also at The J in St. Louis, Mo. Bookmark your calendar for January 29-February 2 when thousands of titles will be available for readers of all ages, including mysteries, novels, biographies, sports, history, humor, and more. There will even be titles appropriate for those who homeschool and batches of multiple books ideal for book clubs.

No matter your preferred genre, you need to check out the catalog of this unofficial “library.” Read more here.