The Center for Design Thinking & The Center for Race, Ethnicity, & Diversity Education unveil new workshop

A workshop focusing on diversity and implicit bias was developed by The Center for Design Thinking and The Center for Race, Ethnicity, & Diversity.

The Center for Race, Ethnicity & Diversity Education and the Center for Design Thinking have partnered to create a new workshop series inspired by Elon’s 2020 Common Reading selection, “Biased.”

The workshop was developed by Soniyah Robinson ’23, a journalism major and social justice lead coordinator at the Center for Design Thinking.

“We wanted to create a workshop focused on dismantling oppressive systems at Elon, specifically centered around implicit bias,” Robinson said. “So students can transform their ideas of bias and break ingrained stereotypes that lead to racist structures and institutions.”

While “Biased” focuses primarily on racial bias, the workshops will cover bias and stereotypes concerning race, sexual orientation and gender.

“It’s based around framing our roles in implicit bias and changing our internal dialogue and actions,” Robinson said. “Workshop participants will use the design thinking method of framing, exploring, generating, prototyping and cultivating to immerse themselves in the experience more deeply.”

Soniyah Robinson developed the new workshop based on the common read, Biased.

Robinson said the workshops will begin by establishing a definition for words and phrases such as “racism,” “social justice” and “implicit bias.” This way the workshop’s participants have a common and agreed upon understanding of these terms.

The second phase of the workshop will focus on concrete examples of implicit bias, Robinson said, which will be followed by asking the participants to chart out times when they experienced bias or held stereotypes by using an experience map.

After going through their own experiences, the participants will use mind maps to construct actionable steps to create change in their lives and at Elon.

“At the end we have resources for the participants to walk away with — books they can read, podcasts they can listen to, resources from CREDE — to make sure the concepts addressed continue beyond the workshop,” Robinson said. “The point of this is to make sure conversation turns into action. That’s how we make change.”

Robinson said the workshops are intended to support students, faculty, and staff across campus.

“I’ve always been passionate about human rights issues. I’m always trying to find more ways to be effective in my activism work, and I thought this would be a great way to combine my design thinking work with my passions,” Robinson said. “I have been involved with the CREDE before and admire their work, so a workshop where we partner with them is right up my alley.”

Danielle Lake, Director of the Center for Design Thinking said the systems and processes we currently have been designed, and they can be redesigned. “The Center for Design Thinking is committed to partnering with others on and off-campus in order to generate and explore opportunities for more inclusive and equitable codesign of the implicit and explicit structures that shape our lives,” Lake said.

To request a workshop, click here.