‘Our approach is not guilt, shame and blame.’ Dr. Bryant shares how empathy can unite us

Posted at 8:08 AM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-11 09:16:14-05

(WXYZ) — Dr. Bryant T. Marks Sr., who is the founder and Chief Equity Officer of the National Training Institute on Race and Equity, shares how his approach to implicit bias training is not about making people feel badly.

“Our approach to the work is not guilt, shame and blame and pointing the finger, it’s through empathy and humanity,” said Dr. Marks.

Dr. Marks is hosting the "Hidden Bias of Good People," which will air on March 8 at 7 p.m. on WXYZ-TV.

He said that as long as human beings exist, they will have both implicit and explicit bias.

"That doesn't mean that we're evil people or we're acting on the biases consistently. We just have to own the fact that they're in us," said Dr. Marks.

He said he talks to many groups and organizations in an effort to change lives.

"We are a social impact organization," he said. The goal, he said, is to improve lives of American society in general and vulnerable populations, particularly African Americans.

Dr. Marks said there are things we can do to balance exposure for our children, making sure they are reading books or watching shows with diverse characters when they're younger.

"You want to get them to the point where you present a hero or character or villain and they say, 'that can be anyone,'" he said.

He said he is optimistic for younger generations to be more accepting of others.

"I think that young people are in a position where they have more access and exposure to men, women, different racial groups, different ages and different roles," he said.

Dr. Marks said, ultimately, it's important to recognize other people as individuals.

"Give them a clean slate, give them the benefit of the doubt and treat them as one person," he said. "That's a skill and that's a habit of mind and it develops over time."