QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Remember that times of stress can re-open old psychological wounds—both yours and others’. Be gentle with the people around you, the people on your social media feed, and yourself.
Renee Engeln, PhD, on the rise of body shaming on social media during COVID-19.
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Teaching Tolerance compiled advice and resources for remote teaching with a trauma-informed approach during COVID-19. The three main needs for students experiencing trauma are a sense of safety, feelings of connectedness, and feelings of hope.
Teachers can promote a sense of safety by encouraging students to talk to friends on the phone, and to identify one adult who can help them manage stress. Teachers can foster connectedness by highlighting each student’s contribution to group activities, and asking everyone to share one new thing they learned the day before. And teachers can instill hope for their students by sharing positive affirmations with them, among other strategies.
Many of the Teaching Tolerance guidelines for school teachers can also be applied to our organizations and personal lives. It comes down to the simple framework of focusing on safety, connectedness, and hope.
How It Affects You
Teaching Tolerance generally recommends sticking to a routine, maintaining clear communication, and allowing well-being to take priority over assignments or compliance. Research shows that students “fare best if they know their teachers care about their well-being just as much as their behavior and assignment compliance.”
We know that artificial intelligence is only as good as the data it’s fed. If the data we have is based on biased decisions, the AI will replicate those biased decisions. But what if we could train AI to help curb biased decisions before they happen?
Humu’s AI uses data on employee satisfaction, company
culture, demographics, and turnover to identify an organization’s problems related to diversity and inclusion. The AI then crafts emails that “nudge” or suggest that employees and higher ups alter their behavior in small ways to address those problems. For example, the AI could “prompt a manager to solicit the input of a quieter colleague.”
Unlike failed AI projects of the past, Humu’s AI informs rather than replaces human decision-making. Instead of trying to manipulate behavior and attitudes behind the scenes, this AI suggests outright that a person could make the choice to do something different by their own volition.
How It Affects You
Even without a tool like Humu’s AI, you can nudge your colleagues and friends to act more inclusively in small ways. You can also remind them to do the same for you and others.
A new children’s show called Mira, Royal Detective aims to show the diversity of cultures in India. Often perceived as a monolith, India has 22 official languages. Each state has distinct cultures, races, religions, and cuisines. A cultural consultant for the show, Shagorika Ghosh Perkins writes, “I’m ecstatic that my daughter’s generation will have a character and role model to identify with and look up to.”
She looks forward to South Asian children seeing themselves on TV, and other children being exposed to the diversity of her culture.
Mira, Royal Detective is a great example of using narrative strategy to counter misconceptions: In the face of a perception that Indian culture is a monolith, a story about an Indian girl illustrates how inaccurate that perception is. Developing the show with the help of cultural consultants like Shagorika Ghosh Perkins ensures that depictions of Indian culture are accurate and appropriate.
How It Affects You
Shagorika Ghosh Perkins writes, “Bringing these experiences and stories to a new generation of children will…empower young minds to build trust, respect and friendships.” Consider how you might use narrative strategy to respond to cultural misrepresentations in your workplace or school, and the positive impact it could have.