Inaugural Title IV-E Summit on April 20–21 Combines Student Day and Field Institute
Keynote by Dr. Rita Cameron Wedding Will Highlight 'Implicit Bias'
Rita Cameron Wedding, Ph.D., nationally recognized authority on implicit bias, will keynote CalSWEC’s inaugural Title IV-E Summit. The summit convenes the annual Title IV-E Student Day together for the first time with the Title IV-E Field Institute; in the past, each was held separately.
The theme of the summit, which will be April 20–21 at Long Beach Marriott, is “Social Justice in Child Welfare Today: Enhancing Equity for Tomorrow.” The event is expected to attract 350 IV-E Stipend Program students and university, agency, Tribal, and community partners.
Dr. Cameron Wedding will speak on “Implicit Bias: Impact on Decision-Making.” The developer of the widely used Implicit Bias-Impact on Decision-Making curriculum, she is a professor of Women’s Studies and Ethnic Studies at Sacramento State University. Her academic specialty is race, gender, and social class disparities in institutions such as child welfare, education, and juvenile justice.
“Implicit bias basically means that we have a tendency to quickly, in a split second, associate a group with a certain type of behavior,” explained Dr. Cameron Wedding. “And we may be unaware that we do that, so the more aware, the more cognizant we become of our implicit biases, the more likely we are not to make those generalizations and draw those unfair conclusions about individuals that we are working with.” Her comments were made in an interview prior to her presentation at the prestigious John C. Livingston Faculty Lecture at Sacramento State University in 2012.
Talking about Race: A Difficult Conversation in Our Society
“We have this notion of color-blindness which basically says we shouldn’t talk about race, we shouldn’t think about race, race doesn’t matter. … [W]hat that does is essentially it suppresses the public discourse on race, and it makes it difficult for us to talk about it at all,” she observed.
“[M]ost of us are under the impression that we shouldn’t talk about it and that it is more polite not to talk about race. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have feelings about race,...[B]y not talking about it, we don’t even get to test out our feelings, we don’t even have to confront our feelings about it,” Dr Cameron Wedding noted.
“I think race is still one of the hardest conversations we can have in our society,” she said, adding, “The fact that just by talking about race doesn’t make us racist.”
Dr. Cameron Wedding said, “I like to tell my students that having conversations about race, being able to talk about it intelligently and comfortably, means that we are going to become the best leaders in the 21st Century and beyond.”
More Information about the Title IV-E Summit: