Mary Cummins Animal Advocates Los Angeles California Wildlife Rehabilitation Real Estate

Mary Cummins Animal Advocates Los Angeles California Wildlife Rehabilitation Real Estate

Friday, June 28, 2024

Recognizing and Understanding Bias for Animal Welfare Professionals , Mary Cummins, Animal Advocates

Recognizing and Understanding Bias for the Animal Welfare Professional was a great class. I learned about the different types of human conscious and unconscious biases. Humans in order to survive have basic instincts and biases. We are fearful and distrusting of things which are new or different from ourselves. The us versus them is a survival mechanism. Our perceptions can change over time based on our experiences. All these things affect how we view the world, others and how we react. The class went into the different types of biases. It then went into how to control our biases in our reactions and behavior so we can treat people and the situation fairly and properly.

There was an interesting class experiment. Instructor told us to close our eyes and imagine we're going on a plane trip to a seminar we're really interested in. We go to the hotel and see a couple in love at the restaurant. We go to the seminar and listen to the presenters speak. Then the instructor told us to open our eyes. He asked us "what did the pilot of the plane look like in your mind? Were they a white man? What color and orientation was the couple? What did the presenters look like?" He showed photos of a female pilot in hijab, a same sex couple and black and disabled speakers. He asked if that was what we imagined? He said these biases are formed based on our experiences in real life, in movies, books... 

From the class description, "Our brains are amazing at making connections, doing work, and making decisions without us ever realizing it. Like when you drive home and realize as you're parking that you don't really remember the drive - yup - your unconscious brain played navigator so you could zone out a bit. However, these unconscious connections and processes can have a lasting effect on how you do your job.

Join us as we discuss different types of bias and how they unconsciously invade your decisions and actions on and off the job.

- Learn to identify 5-8 different bias types
- Understand how bias and cynicism can play off of each other;
- That bias, while often thought of as a negative, is actually an evolutionary necessity that we can earn to identify and work on
- And how to create a shared language around bias so your entire team can work on being more aware of these unconscious traps."

Jace Huggins with San Diego Humane Society was the host. I took my two week Humane Officer training at San Diego Humane Society in 2005.

Below are a few slides. I suggest taking the class because the instructor shares a lot of stories, examples, tests and polls. 

Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game and the USDA. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.

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