CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The Check Your Blind Spots Unconscious Bias Tour made an appearance at the NBA All-Star in Charlotte. It was parked at the Bojangles Coliseum for two days. This is the first time something like this took place at an All-Star game.
The NBA has been focusing on diversity and inclusion and wanted fans to take a deep dive into their own implicit biases.
“Any opportunity we have to expose our fans and anyone associated with the game to the principles of diversity and inclusion,” NBA Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Oris Stuart said. “Is something that we want to be apart of.”
The NBA said no to Charlotte a few years ago when HB2 was the law. That bill determined which bathroom a transgender could use. Since the bill was repealed, the NBA said yes to Charlotte as a host city once again. Even though the All-Star is here, Stuart believes more work can be done.
“We can all do better at understanding things that get in the way with us connecting,” Stuart said. “With us being our best selves, and really taking action on how we interact.”
The Unconscious Bias tour includes places where people can test their judgments on people of different races. There is also a virtual reality exercise that will allow you to walk in somebody else’s shoes to see how they are treated.
“When you have a venue like this,” CEO Action Spokesperson Crawford Pounds said. “You have fans who are coming to an event but to actually have them come see the opportunity and maybe stop for a minute, pause, learn something - learn about bias and hopefully they get an awareness and hopefully that will drive action in what they do in their everyday lives. Hopefully they change how they operate within their organizations.”
About 600 organizations around the country are participating in this effort and driving the point of diversity and inclusion in their companies. The NBA wanted the tour to be eye opening and officials say it is.
“You go through an experience like this,” Stuart said. “And things you wouldn’t even think about that have the potential to impact someone’s life - is kind of what this experience is all about.”
This Unconscious Bias bus tour will be open for people in other cities to witness. The Check Your Blind Spots Bus Unconscious Bias Tour is on the move.
“We hope to touch 100 cities,” Pounds said. “And over a million people of the next 12 months to have discussions around diversity and inclusion with particular focus around implicit bias.”
During the NBA All-Star more than 400 people took the tour of the bus. Organizers say some left enlightened and others in tears finding the tour very relatable. More than 300 signed the pledge to check their implicit biases and to be more inclusive.
“There’s a chance to really immerse yourself,” Pounds said. “And learn more about diversity and inclusion and implicit bias as humans.”
The bus tour kicked off in December. Since the first tour, organizers say groups are having the conversation about diversity. The NBA hopes the talks will change perceptions and lives.
“The subtle implications of bias or situations of bias that overtime can really have a lasting and a damaging effect on how people see themselves,” Stuart said. “How they interact with each other.”
If you want to learn more about The Check Your Blind Spots Unconscious Bias Bus, click here.