Cheryl Kaiser and Tony Greenwald are interviewed in this Crosscut article that questions the efficacy of Starbuck’s new racial bias training plan.
Starbucks mandates racial bias training — but is that the answer?Lilly Fowler, April 19, 2018
n an announcement that gained widespread attention this week, Seattle-based corporate giant Starbucks announced it is closing more than 8,000 company-owned stores next month so that 175,000 employees can receive racial-bias training. But is diversity or implicit-bias training capable of producing meaningful change?
According to many experts and scientific studies, the answer is no.
Anthony Greenwald , a professor at the University of Washington who coined the term "implicit bias" back in the '90s and developed a widely used test that helps to measure biases, says he's never seen any evidence that implicit-bias training is effective in changing behavior.
“I thought early on that implicit bias should be unlearnable,” Greenwald said. Since then, however, he and other experts have realized behavioral changes after so-called “diversity training” are fleeting.
Greenwald said that although it's clear Starbucks “has a social conscience in its operations and is trying to do the right thing,” it would be a mistake for the company to think training can be curative.
Janice A. Sabin, a professor at the University of Washington who studies implicit biases in health care, agrees. “It isn’t a long-sustained reduction,” she said, referring to biases. The training, Sabin said, might reduce a certain behavior or bias for a day or a week, but as far as more significant changes, “we’re not there in learning how to do that.”
Read the entire article here .