Tips for dealing with bias

Learning for Justice, or Teaching Tolerance, is a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center to provide free resources to educators. The materials include this pocket guide on how to speak up against racism.

Here are a few tips for dealing with bias

"Let's stop for a minute. I heard something that offends me."
"I don't find ethnic jokes funny."
"Stop. That is not acceptable behavior."
"That language is hurtful to people and cannot be used. Others do not feel safe when you say/do that."

"Why do you say that? What do you mean?"
"Tell me more."
"Did you mean to say something hurtful when you said that?"
"Do you know that using that word doesn't help others feel safe?"


"Words can hurt, whether they are said in private, in a group or in public."
"Each person has the right to dress as they wish, when you tease or gossip about that, it is hurtful."
It's ok to want to learn more about someone's culture, clothes, etc. and it's important to show respect when you do that."

If someone has already called out or interrupted bias, be a second or third voice to reinforce the message.
"I heard someone say that word and I was shocked too at that language."
"I agree with ____ that what you did was the wrong thing to say."
"My thanks to the two students who jumped in to be allies to stop that language/behavior. I respect them speaking up like that and totally agree with them."