PTO Training

Culture Matters: Managing Unconscious Bias

Jonelle A. Reynolds, Ph.D.

Social Identity Questions for Group Discussion

Pick any one of the pie charts that you are most willing to talk about today and identify the one aspect in that chart that you feel is most important to your identity (in theory, this is your largest slice).

1.How does this aspect of your identity impact how you speak with your children about diversity and inclusion?

2.How does this aspect of your identity inform:

  • whether you feel included in this community [with the school and PTO] or not?
  • how included others with different identities than yours feel?

Microaggression Exercise: identify the hidden message

  1. A lesbian client in therapy reluctantly discloses her sexual orientation to a straight therapist by stating she is “into women.” The therapist indicates he is not shocked by the disclosure because he once had a client who was “into dogs.”
  2. An assertive female manager is labelled as a “bitch,” while her male counterpart is described as “a forceful leader.”
  3. A Black couple is seated at a table in the restaurant next to the kitchen despite there being other empty and more desirable tables located at the front.
  4. A White man or woman clutches her purse or checks his wallet as a Black or Latino man approaches or passes them.
  5. When bargaining over the price of an item, a store owner says to a customer, “Don’t try to Jew me down.”
  6. A blind man reports that people often raise their voices when speaking to him. He responds by saying, “Please don’t raise your voice; I can hear you perfectly well.”
  7. The outfit worn by a TV reality-show mom is described as “classless and trashy.”


Social Identity Activity – Homework

Cultural Values and Unconscious Bias Handout

Types of Unconscious Bias Handout

Microaggressions Handout


Resources for Antiracism work including conversations to have with your children

If you would like to see what types of implicit bias you have, take the Implicit Bias Test