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  • The one thing I would have to have an immediate bias

  • was towards the Middle East.

  • I identify as transgender, non-conforming.

  • It's not often assumed that I am part black.

  • Do you think that being gay is a choice?

  • I can't be sure.

  • Who should police the police?

  • The citizens.

  • That actually scares me.

  • If I had to have a conversation

  • with my kids about this,

  • I wouldn't know pretty much where to start.

  • How I treat and talk to my children

  • is very much reflective

  • of the environment that they walk into every day.

  • I'm a lawyer by trade.

  • - I better watch what I say. - (chuckles)

  • I've been a cop for 20 years.

  • We must understand that how we've been weaponized,

  • you know, against the black community.

  • Hello, everybody, my name is Jesse Williams.

  • I want to welcome everyone joining us today

  • as we discuss bias, conscious and unconscious bias

  • and its impact on us personally and the collective.

  • I am here now because I feel like

  • we're experiencing a real opportunity.

  • The real opportunity is in the public consciousness

  • with all that's happening in the world and in our nation.

  • We are primed, I think, to accept the possibility

  • that maybe we have some room for improvement.

  • Maybe there are some things

  • that we can learn about ourselves and each other

  • that will allow us to grow forward.

  • So part of that is acknowledging conscious

  • and unconscious bias,

  • the roles that we might be playing

  • in this whole equation.

  • I think it's incredibly important for us

  • to face it, talk about it, be open to that possibly.

  • Everyone has bias, myself included.

  • It is a real issue and it's something that we can address

  • and just learn more about.

  • It doesn't make anybody inherently wrong.

  • It's something that's worthy of exploring.

  • So over the next few hours we're going to do just that.

  • We're going to watch a series of conversations

  • between complete strangers meeting for the first time,

  • and they're going to discuss not only themselves,

  • but issues that bring up

  • the concept of bias in their lives.

  • This might be uncomfortable at times.

  • It certainly has moments of discomfort for them.

  • It might for you as well.

  • Feelings could be hurt.

  • But that's part of the process.

  • That's how growth happens.

  • So amidst that discomfort,

  • these are all opportunities for learning for us.

  • So before we dive deeper,

  • I do want to acknowledge how we've come here today,

  • that can't do that without thanking Procter & Gamble

  • for spreading the word and spearheading this effort.

  • That also includes BuzzFeed,

  • who's allowing us to use their platform,

  • so thank you so much.

  • For years P&G has been using their voice

  • and acting as a leading advertiser

  • to shine a light on inequality,

  • highlighting bias in particular

  • with their recent work in the last couple of years

  • and sparking a dialogue to promote understanding,

  • to promote action.

  • So I'm not going to do this alone.

  • We are going to dial up the incredible Freddie Ransome,

  • who is a content creator,

  • has a lot of insight around bias,

  • and she's going to help us

  • walk through this whole experience

  • and be a great asset to us today.

  • Hey, Jesse, how are you?

  • I'm great, how are you?

  • I'm good.

  • I'm excited for what today's going to hold.

  • Just to give everyone a little bit more detail

  • about the ins and outs of this experiment,

  • we've paired 14 strangers together to talk about bias.

  • And these are real people,

  • they are here because they want to have dialog

  • and they want to experience some personal growth.

  • So please be respectful to them in the comments,

  • even if you don't agree on what they're saying

  • because we're all friends here,

  • we're all just here to learn and take in new information

  • or just sort of spread light and share light to each other

  • in regards to experiences and personal biases.

  • It's interesting when talking to new people or strangers,

  • I think folks can relate

  • to being at a party or a new gathering,

  • you just find yourself kind of pouring your heart out

  • to somebody you just met.

  • I think the idea that won't definitely follow you

  • in your social circle or your family events,

  • you've got a little bit of freedom

  • to just kind of unload something,

  • to explore something, experiment,

  • play around with ideas

  • without it being kind of attached to you

  • like this static cling

  • and you're going to have to be accountable for it later.

  • We all carry with us learned assumptions, presumptions,

  • we all are a byproduct of media

  • and marketing and information

  • and cartoons and commercials.

  • Also, now is a good time just to let folks know

  • it's not only Freddie and myself participating today.

  • We are really lucky

  • to have an absolutely brilliant professor,

  • Dr. Charisse L'Pree,

  • sharing her incredible talents and wherewithal.

  • Professional L'Pree is at Syracuse University

  • where she currently focuses on how the media affects

  • the way we think about ourselves,

  • exactly what we're talking about,

  • our perceptions of ourselves and others.

  • We've been working with her

  • to bring an added layer of context

  • and facts into this discussion,

  • those pesky things that are necessary.

  • Beyond just watching, we're going to be posting

  • discussion prompts in the comments,

  • so pay attention to those if you could.

  • This allows us all to be able to join the conversation

  • from an informed perspective.

  • So be sure to add your thoughts

  • and questions there as well.

  • This is a safe space, so please

  • don't succumb to any habits.

  • We've all been in comment sections

  • and we can see how it can get childish and ugly quickly.

  • Let's elevate today, let's make that a safe space

  • so we can constructive conversations.

  • And now, while we have paired strangers together,

  • they're not entirely random.

  • We intentionally went about this in a curated fashion

  • to encourage discourse beyond their echo chamber.

  • These have been really expansive,

  • long conversations

  • when we've paired these strangers together,

  • so we've naturally had to edit them down for time.

  • We did that in the most responsible way.

  • So in order to catalyze these conversations,

  • we have passed along P&G's award-winning short film

  • called The Look to all of these pairings

  • so that they can watch it together

  • and it can be a great way to spark conversation about bias.

  • Let's start with our first pairing.

  • We have Chozy joining us from Atlanta, Georgia,

  • and we have Lynn in North Carolina.

  • So we have them dialed up and meeting each other

  • for the very first time for an interesting conversation.

  • All right, let's do it.

  • Hello.

  • Hi.

  • How 'ya doing?

  • Well, I'm well today and yourself?

  • I'm going great, just excited about this experience.

  • Isn't this something?

  • My name's Lynn.

  • Lynn?

  • Lynn.

  • Hi, my name is Chozy.

  • Oh come on, no.

  • [sighs]

  • Um, I can definitely relate to the beginning,

  • getting the weird looks for looking different.

  • I can't believe this stuff

  • still happens and I know it does

  • and I cannot understand why.

  • [sighs]

  • Yeah.

  • We still judge each other on the way we immediately appear.

  • Where do you think that comes from?

  • The reason I think a lot of people think that way,

  • which is not only in the U.S., it's a global thing,

  • is just lack of interaction

  • with people that are different than you.

  • I am originally from East Jerusalem, Palestine,

  • and I came here in 2001, three weeks before September 11.

  • So, when I came here I was saying, "I'm Middle Eastern,

  • I'm Palestinian, I'm Muslim," and it is just who I am.

  • I didn't think anything of it.

  • So September 11 happens

  • and all of a sudden there is this hate

  • for anybody that looks Middle Eastern.

  • So if you're brown, you're going to be a target.

  • It doesn't matter if you're Arab, Indian, Hispanic,

  • mixed black and white, just dark featured,

  • and a lot of people got

  • harassed and attacked on campus

  • at Georgia Southern.

  • And I was like I'm not going to go out and say

  • that I'm Middle Eastern.

  • I'm going to have to dodge it, lie it, try to be a chameleon.

  • But it's hard to be a chameleon

  • when the majority is black and white

  • and nobody looks like me.

  • What I'm hearing you say is

  • that it comes from non-exposure

  • to different types of people

  • and they're visually different

  • and we have to judge immediately.

  • The one kind of group that you can see my ignorance,

  • I think when I thought about biases towards people,

  • the one thing I would have an immediate bias

  • was towards whatever I would call;

  • and you're right, it's ignorance, the Middle East.

  • Because it's different and so, as we've had more immigrants

  • and as I've been able to meet more people,

  • you see, my views change.

  • And this is the only way

  • that we can break down these conclusions.

  • It's kind of embarrassing here

  • to admit that I've had these biases.

  • It's embarrassing.

  • But I have not really been able

  • to interact very much with people like yourself, Chozy,

  • so I don't know how the universe knew

  • that you're the person I probably needed

  • to talk most to.

  • Yeah.

  • I've been in churches here when I came to the U.S.

  • and I've been to Baptist churches.

  • And I'm looking around and I see

  • this poster of a white person

  • that looks like Kurt Cobain from Nirvana

  • with blonde hair, blue eyes, on a cross.

  • And I'm like, "Who is that?"

  • And he's like, "This is Jesus."

  • And I'm like, "What?!"

  • Jesus is from Bethlehem.

  • Jesus was a Jewish person from Bethlehem in Palestine.

  • If you go to Palestine right now,

  • nobody's blonde hair, blue eyes.

  • I'm considered light-skinned.

  • People are a little bit darker than me.

  • Yeah.

  • I don't care what the Census says that we are.

  • I'm not treated like I'm a white

  • person when I come to America.

  • I'm accepted by blacks more than whites.

  • Where I grew up in Northern California,

  • there was a lot of dissension with black people.

  • We didn't even have anybody from Palestine or Jerusalem.

  • We didn't have Jewish people.

  • And I drove through the part of town that was black

  • and because I was white, they threw a rock at me

  • because they were angry.

  • And that was when integration was starting

  • and they would bring black children and white people

  • and white children together.

  • We're people and we're doing the best we can,

  • and it's not real good.

  • But if we keep talking about it and meeting each other,

  • and if I can see your pain,

  • and maybe you can see