“This is in a foreign language,” a women said referring to the pre-recorded voice on a telephone at the Check Your Blind Spots Unconscious Bias mobile tour.
According to a worker with the tour bus that was, in fact, the point.
That was Thursday in Smith Plaza at the University of New Mexico, when the tour equipped with virtual reality headsets, tablets and other technology came to main campus. The bus, which is part of the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, featured several interactive exhibits promoting values of diversity and inclusion.
“Hopefully, as people walk away it's taking the fact that as you expand your network and learn more about unconscious biases there will be different perspectives you can add to your life,” said Linh Le, a team member of the tour bus.
At one such exhibit users wore an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset in an attempt to identify if an individual was acting on an unconscious bias.
“The Student Activities Center just started looking for opportunities for diversity and inclusive programming on campus,” said the Director of the Student Activities Center Ryan Lindquist.
Lindquist also said UNM President Garnett Stokes signed the CEO Action pledge — making UNM one of the first institutions in New Mexico to do so.
The tour bus is one of several programs that focus on diversity and inclusion. Included in these programs is a talk by Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted in the National Football League, and a workshop with the Greek life community, according to Lindquist.
CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion was founded by PwC (who provide assurance, tax and advisory services, according to their website) CEO Tim Ryan in 2017.
Over 450 CEOs and presidents have signed on with group.
The tour bus’ previous stop was the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is now on its way to Atlanta, Georgia.
Justin Garcia is a freelance reporter for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers ASUNM. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter at @Just516garc.