Offsetting Racial Bias​

This intermediate-level program introduces learners to race-based discrimination and to nuanced concepts like “the model minority myth,” intersecting and invisible identities, and code-switching. Through scenarios featuring a wide range of characters, learners practice disrupting racism at the interpersonal and workplace policy levels. This program was co-created with Colleen James, the Principal Consultant of Divonify, a leading consultancy on racial equity and inclusion.

Law Society of Ontario accredited EDI logo

This program contains 1 hour of EDI Professionalism Content.

LEVEL: Intermediate
Key Concepts
  • Policies that support religious and cultural expression in the workplace
  • Non-discriminatory hiring practices
    Responding to “positive” stereotyping and “positive” racial tropes
  • Inclusion of food cultures at events and in shared workspaces
  • The hidden impacts of microaggressions or “casual racism”
  • Code-switching and the burden of conformity for employees of colour
Core Skills & Behaviours
  • Recognizing and challenging racial bias in oneself
  • Responding to racial bias or stereotyping in the speech and conduct of others
  • Advocating for change when we see racial discrimination in policy or practice
  • Centering the needs of racialized employees and relating empathetically
Snippet Title Topic Covered


The Smart Asian

Introduces the concept of “the model minority” as experienced by the Asian community and shows that discrimination can lurk behind positive stereotyping.


The Daastar and the Dress Code

Shows how discriminatory dress codes can impede legally-protected religious expression in the workplace. Demonstrates why and how to advocate for workplace policy reform.


Room for Prayer

Shows how work spaces can be set aside, designed, and shared to support prayer and other contemplative practices to support the inclusion of Muslim colleagues.


Newcomer Candidates

Explores the issue of “local experience” as a marker of merit in the hiring process. Shows how skills-based hiring processes can help mitigate bias against newcomers.


Kitchen Politics

Highlights the disproportionate consequences of workplace kitchen rules on racialized employees and their food cultures. Discusses how shared food culture can decrease tension and increase belonging.


Smoke in the Office

Introduces the Indigenous practice of smudging and how it can be appropriately incorporated into the workplace.


The Chinese Virus

Highlights historical and current anti-Chinese racism in North America, and demonstrates how to effectively respond to racist comments in the workplace.


Big Gay Jewish Wedding

Explores racism against “invisible identities” as experienced by a Jewish person. Discusses the pervasiveness of anti-Semitic tropes and introduces the concept of “intersecting identities” that compound discrimination.


Professional Hair

Through the lens of Black hair culture, discusses how casual racism in the form of comments (or even compliments) can have a large cumulative effect on Black colleagues.


Suddenly Latina

Introduces the concept of “code-switching” and shows how to respond when colleagues express their cultures at work.

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