Activism

Need a 'Bias Cleanse?' Here’s How One Campaign Is Tackling Racial and Gender Stereotypes

The Southern Poverty Law Center and MTV have teamed up to help you “unlearn bias.”

In the wake of the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, the Southern Poverty Law Center and MTV have teamed up to create a campaign that tackles various stereotypes.

The 'Look Different' campaign says their goal is to “help you erase the hidden racial, gender, and anti-LGBT bias all around us.”

To help people “unlearn biases” the campaign has created an open and welcoming platform that allows users to ask questions they genuinely don’t understand about race, gender and sexual orientation. For instance, one anonymous parent wrote in to ask why her daughter, who wants to date women, tends to “be with women who look like men?”

A panel then answers these questions to help make sense of and unravel biases. You can ask questions on their Tumblr ask box, tweet @LookDifferent, or email them.

The campaign’s website also features other tools, such as quizzes, for helping people to recognize their biases. Once people begin to recognize these biases, they can do a seven-day “bias cleanse” that will help people begin to “de-bias” themselves. And for people who see biases, but are uncomfortable speaking up about them, the campaign also provides tips on how to start a conversation about stereotypes.

They also encourage people to use the hashtag #goodlook when something is challenging bias, and #notagoodlook when something is spreading a bias.

Watch the campaign’s video here:

Alyssa Figueroa is an associate editor at AlterNet.