Walking toward our biases


This Sunday for the sermon time I’ll be having an interview/dialogue with Malik Moore.  I met Malik back in June at a Race and Justice event hosted by First Unitarian Universalist.  We were both a part of a break out group discussing how faith communities might engage the issue.  We’ve since met for coffee and had a number of phone conversations and email exchanges.  Professionally, Malik has served as the Executive Director of YMCA of Central Ohio and is currently focusing on diversity and inclusion work.

As we talked about this Sunday he encouraged me to encourage the congregation to watch THIS 18 minute TED talk by Verna Myers called “How to overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them.”  A diversity trainer herself, Myers begins in a confessional tone by telling a story about becoming conscious of a bias she didn’t know she had.  While on a recent flight she was thrilled to hear a female pilot welcome everyone aboard, but when the plane hit turbulence at peak altitude she found herself hoping this pilot really knew how to fly – a thought she realized she’d never had with male pilots.  She goes on to focus on our biases toward black men, giving challenges of how to move beyond these.  A few quotes I wrote down while watching:

“Stop trying to be good people.  We need real people.”

“Move toward young black men instead of away from them.”

“This is not about perfection, it’s about connection.”

“When we see something, we have to have the courage to say something, even to the people we love.”

It’s a powerful talk.  Watch it when you have time, and come hear Malik speak on Sunday if you’re in the area.


Sunday’s sermon, “From loss to celebration,” is posted on the website.