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In this interactive session we will explore how understanding identity is key to incorporating equity, diversity, and inclusion in our work with adult learners. We will unpack the topic of implicit bias, understand how it originates and manifests in our work, and discuss ideas for what we can do about it. We will facilitate large group discussion using interactive tools, and use individual reflection and intention-setting using quiet time and journaling tools.


    This professional development activity/course is designed for:

  • All Massachusetts adult education staff who want to learn more about their own positionality and improve their own communication and actions to create equitable opportunities for all adult learners

This interactive session addresses our identities, biases, and the structural and cultural influences that shape our world. We will explore examples of implicit bias within adult education at the systemic, institutional, and individual levels.

We will engage in activities and discussions that that will allow us to examine our own identities and implicit biases, as well as how these factors affect our work in the field of adult education and in our interactions with adult learners. We will end with ideas for how to use this new information to create equitable opportunities for all adult learners, as well as time to note personal reflections, commitments and intentions for our work.

This is a standalone session, but will set the stage for those who choose to participate in the follow-up Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Adult Education: Program Assessment and Planning on December 8th 2021. In this optional follow up offering, programs will be supported in implementing sustained changes to make their programs more welcoming and inclusive. 

Pre-work, estimated time 10 minutes:

  • Prior to participating, please take the Race IAT section of the Harvard Implicit Bias Test. Select Project Implicit Social Attitudes, identity that you wish to continue, and on the next page scroll down to the Race IAT and click the blue button. The task will take 10 minutes. Upon completion, you will have a printable results page. Please print this page, or make note of the type of response you had, and the percentage of respondents who share your response type (this can be found in the bar graph). The presenter will ask how many of you were surprised by your response type, but will not ask about your specific response type. 

Schedule: The total time for this PD is 2 hours, plus 10 minutes of pre-session work.  

Registrants will receive a separate email from with instructions on how to access the Zoom session.

    Learning Objectives

    Upon completion of this professional development activity/course, you will be able to:

  • Articulate how individual identity plays a role in creating our personal biases
  • Provide examples of how implicit bias impacts adult education students and staff at the systemic, institutional, and individual levels
  • Identify two ways that adult educators can support diversity, equity, and inclusion in their work
Presenter(s) / Facilitator(s)

United States

PD Center
SABES Program Support PD Center - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Topic Area
DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion)