Isenberg Students to Host Event to Raise Awareness of Implicit Biases

Beyond the Label

Students in the Isenberg School of Management will host “(un)labeled at UMass: Beyond the Label” on Monday, April 9 from 4-8 p.m. in the Isenberg Atrium. The event is intended to raise awareness about the impacts of stereotypes, particularly on college students.

At the event, which features free food and giveaways, there will be an opportunity for participants to anonymously answer questions that examine implicit biases. Responses will be compiled for the class to review and investigate whether any patterns emerge.

A website, video and Facebook page have been created to promote (un)labeled, as well as inspire victims of stereotyping to speak up and encourage students to share how labels negatively affect them.

“Because many UMass students may come from towns that lack diversity, they may be unaware of their own biases and the hurt their biases cause,” says Chanel Connor, a senior involved with the class.

The (un)labeled event is part of a larger project developed by students in an advertising practicum class taught by associate professor of marketing Elizabeth Miller. The class is comprised of juniors and seniors, including Connor, Liam Sullivan, Alyssa Enright, Pascale Froehlich, Marley Henderson, Katherine Lim, Davis McVay and Isabelle Wigon.

The class project, which was created in response to the increase in bias-related incidents on college campuses, is also part of an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) contest called “ADL: Innovate Against Hate.” UMass Amherst is one of 20 U.S. colleges to compete. As part of the contest, each team gets $1,000, plus $500 in Facebook ad credits, to create its campaign. At the end of the semester, members from the top three teams selected by the ADL will be invited to present their campaigns in front of a jury panel, an audience and industry leaders on June 12 in Washington, D.C.

The campaign is managed by EdVenture Partners, an educational organization that has 28 years of experience developing innovative-industry education partnership programs, and EdVenture Partners Program Coordinator Sabrena Lopez.

This event and project supports the Hate Has No Home at UMass campaign, as well as Building Bridges, an initiative designed to foster new connections among UMass Amherst community members who come from greatly varied backgrounds and hold differing perspectives.