Skip to main content

Diversity Education Workshops

“Rewarding experience. Very eye-opening, in allowing me to understand the true value of sincere inclusion. VU needs more of this inclusion training.”

August J. Washington, Associate Vice Chancellor, Vanderbilt University Public Safety

 Unconscious Bias Workshops

The Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion offers eight signature educational workshops. Each experience is designed to present information to increase awareness around issues of diversity and practical strategies. Two workshops focus on unconscious bias (implicit bias) and six workshops focus on various aspects of diversity awareness. A summary of each program is provided below. Interested persons are encouraged to begin by participating in Inclusive Excellence 101: Unconscious Bias, followed by Inclusive Excellence 201: Everyday Bias. However, workshops can be taken in any order. Contact, assistant vice chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, for additional information. Click here to learn more about unconscious bias.

Inclusive Excellence 101: Unconscious Bias – A New Look at an Old Dynamic! (Two hours)

Unconscious bias (or implicit bias) is commonly defined as a prejudice or unsupported judgment in favor of or against a thing, individual, or group as compared to another in a way that is typically considered unfair. Unconscious bias occurs automatically as the brain makes quick judgments and takes short-cuts. This signature workshop focuses on ways to identify and address unconscious bias for better professional relationships and communication. Common types of biases and creative solutions are presented. Workshop materials and snacks will be provided.

Wed., Jan. 24, 2018, 1 – 3 p.m.

Wed. April 4, 2018, 9 – 11 a.m.

Wed. May 16, 2018, 9 – 11 a.m.

All workshops will be held at the Kissam Center, C210 Multi-Purpose Room
Click here to register

Inclusive Excellence 201: Everyday Bias (Two hours)

Although biases are part of human nature and can be a survival mechanism, they can also undermine our effectiveness. This signature program is a Cook Ross workshop that combines psychological and diversity approaches to help participants: improve their interactions with other people; explore brain science on unconscious bias and its potential impact on decision-making; and, identify practical strategies to bring about systemic organizational change. Workshop materials and snacks will be
provided. (101 is prerequisite for 201)

Wed., Feb. 21, 2018, 9 – 11 a.m.

The workshop will be held at the Kissam Center,
C210 Multi-Purpose Room

Click here to register

Inclusive Excellence 401: Mindful Communication across Diverse Groups (Two hours)

Want to learn strategies to improve your ability to communicate and collaborate across diverse groups? This workshop considers some of the effects and implications of drawing inferences and mindful communication for improved workplace engagement.
Click here to register


If you are interested in requesting the following six diversity education workshops or customized training from the Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, please complete this form and send it to Assistant Vice Chancellor Sandra Barnes at

Unconscious BiasInclusive Excellence 301: Unconscious Bias – Next Steps (Two hours)

Once you have identified unconscious bias (or implicit bias) and understand some of its implications, what’s next? This workshop focuses on strategies and best practices that individuals and groups can implement to address unconscious bias. Case studies and other interactive approaches are included to better equip individuals to make more equitable, inclusive decisions personally and in the workplace.

Inclusive Excellence 501: Allyship and Relationship-Building (One hour)

Want to become an ally on campus and in the community? This workshop examines ways to foster effective, positive support for diverse groups. Case studies, skill-building exercises, and strategies are provided to help participants become active allies in society.

Inclusive Excellence 601: Inter- and Intra-Racial and Ethnic Dynamics (Part 1) (One hour)

This workshop focuses on race and ethnicity as well as some of their effects within and across groups. The implications of prejudices and social group position are considered such that participants can better understand and appreciate these two forms of diversity.

Inclusive Excellence 701: Inter- and Intra-Racial and Ethnic Dynamics (Part 2) (One hour)

This workshop continues the discourse on awareness about race, ethnicity, and cultural identities. Participants learn about examples of cultural diversity, reflect on ways to become global leaders, and examine strategies to build better relationships across diverse groups through the use of a case study from the Chancellor’s Report for Equity, Diversity, and Community.

Inclusive Excellence 801: Friends, Families, and Relationships (One hour)

This workshop considers diverse types of relationships that exist in society. Participants examine: some common examples of friendships, families, and relationships; Vanderbilt University’s language around sexuality and inclusion; ways to be more inclusive in the workplace; and, positive language around sexuality.