BDS Social Identity-Social Bias-Social Justice Groups Interest Survey

This is an invitation to express your wishes for ways to connect with folks in the BDS community on topics related to social identity, social bias, and social justice. The definitions of these terms are provided below.

Inclusivity begins by asking what each of us wants and needs to feel a sense of equal and equitable belonging. By providing your input, you'll help us know how we can facilitate meaningful and manageable connections between BDS community members who share common experiences and interests.

In addition to providing your input via the survey, please feel encouraged (always) to contact Carlos directly at choyt@belmontday.org.

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

Definitions of Terms

Social identity refers to categories we each find ourselves assigned to or choose to be included in based on outward appearance, where we and/or our ancestors come from, our biological characteristics, our status as native-born or foreign-born, our language, our education level, our work, income and wealth, our worldviews (e.g. regarding spirituality, politics, values, etc.) and so on, and the intersectionality or confluence of our myriad identities.

Social identity includes a dynamic interaction of ascription (how others categorize and label us according to their assumptions), and subscription (our own self-definition of who we are). Very often social/external ascription and personal/internal subscription align, but not always. For example, it is becoming increasingly important to not assume that just because a person’s physical appearance matches the conventional visual markers of maleness or femaleness, the person’s self-definition regarding gender will align with convention. Another example of non-alignment of ascribed identity and identity subscription would be to assume that a person with a light complexion should be racially categorized as white, when in fact that person may self-identify as “black/African American,” “biracial,” “mixed”/“multiracial,” or may not subscribe to the construct of racial identity at all.

Social Bias refers to our tendency to make sense of the world based on habits of mind, socially conditioned beliefs, simple binaries, and reductive categories, and apply hierarchical distinctions to social identity constructs. We tend to instinctively divide things into this or that, them or us and so on, and we tend to prioritize and privilege one side of a false dichotomy over the other – this is better than that; we must protect ourselves from them. Our proclivity to make rough and ready distinctions and judgments (often implicitly and even in contradiction to what we’d prefer to believe!) enables us to make it through a complicated world, but it also leads us to rely on stereotypes that are the bases of prejudices that, in turn, lead us to treat people unfairly and inequitably.

Social Justice refers to the redress of issues that involve the unfair, biased, unequal, discriminatory, or oppressive treatment of people – whether it plays out on intrapersonal, interpersonal, or institutional levels. Our susceptibility to being both victims and vectors, directly or indirectly, of unequal treatment requires that we develop and practice vigilance to detect bias and the skills and courage to bring about justice in our personal lives, in our local communities, and at national and global levels.

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* 1. Your full name

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* 2. Your child or children's grade(s)

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* 3. Please indicate if you have participated in any of the following groups at BDS.

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* 4. Please describe the kinds of social identity-social bias-social justice topics about which you'd like to connect with others. The connection could take many forms. For example, it might be valuable just to know who else in the community shares the experience or interest. It might be useful to try to gather those folks to see what everyone thinks would be the most meaningful and manageable way to explore the topic, support each other, etc. It might turn out that a group schedules regular meetings or a group might decide to create an online sharing site. 

In terms of the kinds of groups, some of us might want to focus (more or less) on a single social identity/social justice topic such as Single Parent Families, Same-sex Parents, Class, Ability, Adoptive Families, Blended Families, Mental Health, Cyber Safety, Gender, Sexual Orientation, Worldview-Belief Systems, Heritage-Ethnicity, How to Think About And Talk About Race With Children, Multiracial or Multi-ethnic/cultural/religious Families, etc. 

Some of us might want to explore multiple, intersecting topics such as Parenting for Social Justice (which might provide opportunities to exchange perspectives and strategies regarding raising children who are well-grounded in all areas of social identity, social bias, and social justice). Some folks might want to gather to discuss a common read related to social identity-social bias-social justice.

Please feel free to describe any and all topics that interest you, and please state what form of connection you'd prefer for each. For example, "I'd love to gather with folks a few times this year - maybe monthly? - to discuss a common read on understanding gender identity." Or, "I'd benefit from just knowing who else in the BDS community has an adoptive family. If we could share a list of those folks and have it be OK to reach out to each other organically and at our own convenience, that would be valuable for me."

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* 5. Please add any other wishes or thoughts you'd like to.

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