What We Don’t Think We Think: A Delegate’s Guide to Addressing Implicit Bias


What We Don’t Think We Think: A Delegate’s Guide to Addressing Implicit Bias

Available now for $15! This self-directed online course has been created for delegates of GC2020 to discover how our biases inform our decisions.

Who is this for?

This resource began as a general guide to church leaders to learn and teach others about implicit bias. The online course you are about to begin, however, has been rewritten so that it directly focuses on how implicit bias informs the specific work of serving as a delegate. The learning engagements in each section provide different “entry points” for the big ideas around implicit bias, to reach people with different perspectives and learning styles. 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 how God is leading you to faithfully use this material so that as a delegate you have a greater awareness of how implicit bias your perspectives.

Why is this important?

Implicit bias, at its core, is a way to understand how what we have learned over time, gets combined by the brain and informs our values, beliefs, and actions. In other words, the brain serves as a collector (of SO many pieces of information!) and connector (creates connections between some of those pieces). These connections, when implicit, function underneath the radar but still influence our values, what we believe and why, and the actions we take based on our values and beliefs. So, that means:

  1. Implicit Bias informs our values, beliefs, and actions;
  2. The most important action you will take as a delegate is voting;
  3. Thus, Implicit Bias informs your voting.

When our biases remain implicit (under the radar), our votes are influenced by values and beliefs that haven’t even come to the surface. By recognizing and questioning our implicit biases – we can be sure that our votes align with what we actually proclaim to value and believe. Furthermore, we gain the ability to describe to someone else in our deliberations why we value or believe what we do and how our votes faithfully represent them.

The tricky thing is this: because implicit bias is under the radar, sometimes we proclaim one thing and do another. We say we want to reach the communities around our churches, but our ministry attempts fall short. We proclaim to be about action, but we end up in meeting after meeting about the same things. We say we’re going to work out in the morning, then we sleep in, Implicit bias is sometimes what stands in the 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 actual outcomes.

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GCORR is building the capacity of The United Methodist Church to be contextually relevant and to reach more people, younger people, and more diverse people as we make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.