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Event Details

    Don’t Guess My Race: How Understanding Unconscious Bias Can Improve Workplace Culture

    Date: October 17, 2018, 7:30am
    Holiday Inn Dulles Airport
    45425 Holiday Dr.
    Sterling, VA 20166
    $35.00 Member, $55.00 Non-Member, $25.00 Member in Transition
    Event Type:
    Chapter Meeting - Breakfast
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    Email Charlan Cornwell at to register for this event.

    Hundreds of studies show that diversity training often does little to reduce bias, especially in the long-term. In this session, cultural anthropologist Michael Baran illuminates why that may be happening and what to do about it. In the first half of the session, he will interactively address the social science behind categorization, identity, and bias, showing how the very way that racial categories are structured in the mind renders most diversity trainings ineffective. Then in the second half of the session, he will apply this social science to suggest concrete strategies and best practices for making more lasting changes toward inclusive workplaces.  

    In this session, you will :

    • Understand how the way human beings categorize difference leads to bias along different dimensions
    • Recognize how unconscious bias gets in the way of organizational goals
    • Identify tools and practical strategies for having conversations about changing identities and creating inclusive workplaces


    Revised Agenda:

    • 7:30-7:50 Networking & Breakfast Buffet
    • 7:50-8:05 Chapter & Sponsor announcements
    • 8:05-9:05 Program
    • 9:05-9:15 Closing remarks/raffles

    About the speaker:
    Michael D. Baran, PhD is a cultural anthropologist and diversity and inclusion speaker / consultant. He has more than twenty years of experience conducting research on a variety of issues related to race and identity and then using the lessons from that research to work with organizations to increase diversity and foster inclusion. He currently consults for businesses, schools and non-profits on issues related to diversity and inclusion, often incorporating the digital tools developed at Interactive Diversity Solutions (IDS) as part of a blended approach. In this capacity, he has worked with companies such as Boeing, Disney and Thrivent Financial as well as Universities such as Harvard, Brown, and the University of Indiana. His digital program (Don’t) Guess My Race was recently selected as one of the top 100 most inspiring innovations in education globally by the Finland-based education group
    In addition to his IDS work, he has taught courses on race and identity, Latin America, child development, expository writing and research methodology at Harvard University and the University of Michigan. He has worked as Associate Director at the FrameWorks Institute and currently works as a Principal Researcher at the American Institutes of Research. In that capacity, he manages multi-year research and intervention projects with funders such as USAID, the MacArthur Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Science Foundation, the Harvard Center on the Developing Child, UNICEF and the Bernard van Leer Foundation.
    Dr. Baran received his B.A. from Emory University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology with a certificate in ‘Culture and Cognition’ from the University of Michigan. He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and is learning Haitian Creole.