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    Don’t Guess My Race: How thinking like an anthropologist leads to reduced bias and inclusive workplaces

    Date: September 28, 2017, 11:30am – 1:30pm
    Frederick County Human Resources Society
    Dutch's Daughter Restaurant
    Frederick, MD
    Please see website
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    Don’t Guess My Race: How thinking like an anthropologist leads to reduced bias and inclusive workplaces

    Thursday, September 28, 2017


    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. As part of the session, participants will be challenged to think about demographic changes and their impact on identity.

    Learning Objectives

    The presentation will cover:

    • Understand how the way human beings categorize difference leads to bias along different dimensions
    • Recognize how new demographic changes are impacting categorization in the United States
    • Identify tools and practical strategies for having conversations about changing identities and creating inclusive workplaces

    Speaker Bio

    Dr. Michael Baran is a cultural anthropologist with over twenty years of experience conducting and organizing ethnographic research for social change on a variety of issues, including race and identity, racial disparities in education, violence against children, healthy housing, human services, criminal justice reform, immigration reform, climate change, and early childhood development. Dr. Baran has conducted research domestically and internationally, most extensively in Brazil, Guatemala, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Haiti.

    As President of Interactive Diversity Solutions (IDS), he consults for businesses, schools and non-profits on issues related to diversity and inclusion, often incorporating the digital tools developed at IDS as part of a blended approach. 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.

    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.

    Meeting Sponsor

    Sponsor information coming soon


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