Learning to navigate personal bias to better protect community

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Everyday things change..

The faces we see, the cultures we experience, and the bias we feel. 

That’s why New Millennium Institute has partnered with Illinois Central College to show how these diversities are creating implicit biases between law enforcement and our community. 

“Because you have biases, doesn’t make you a bad person,” said Agbara Bryson, CEO/founder of New Millennium Institute. “If you want to have a safe community, if you want to take this ugly stigma that Peoria has, if you want to make residents feel safer, if you want to have the police feel safer, then this is an important thing.”

Peoria is the second worst city in the country for African Americans to live. 

“We want to bring law enforcement as well as some community members to talk about how to build trust and relationships, by understanding implicit biases,” says Bryson.

So New Millennium Institute and ICC are exploring concerns from both law enforcement and those in our community. 

“We deal with a lot of different backgrounds, creeds, color,” said Chief Demario Boone, Peoria Public Schools. “With this training, I hope to have the officers better equipped to deal with the whole student, to understand different biases we all carry, and to be able to navigate through that.”

The overall goal is to figure out ways to make changes that stand the test of time. 

“I want the public to see that we are reaching out,” said Chief Boone. “This department is going to be proactive in making sure that we knock down those barriers. Barriers that officers carry, and help the public rely on us and trust us more.”

The training also helped people to understand cultural conditioning.

Law enforcement weren’t the only ones present. 

Local pastors, ministries, nurses and even the Peoria Park District were there Wednesday. 

Dates for future training days: 

  • 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Oct 18, 2018
  • 12:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. on Jan 30, 2019

Trainings will be held at the Central Illinois Police Training Center, Illinois Central College, Poplar Hall. 

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