Have you ever witnessed social bias – a stereotype, form of discrimination or exclusion – but didn’t know what to do? Have you experienced bias yourself and wanted to speak up but were unsure how to do so, only to ruminate later about all you should have said or done? People who witness bias often want to respond, but most find it difficult to know what to do or how to do it well, particularly when biases are subtler, implicit or ambiguous. Research, however, suggests that when bystanders speak up, they play an important role as allies in reducing bias.
TERP Allies, an initiative of the ADVANCE Program for Inclusive Excellence, uses interactive theater and discussion of self-generated scenarios addressing a range of biases that may occur in academic settings. Workshops use humor and the arts as a way to open up discussion about how to organize our work environments to be more inclusive.
NOTE: In light of COVID-19, we are in the process of creating an online module of Terp Allies. For more information, please contact Faculty Specialist Dawn Culpepper at firstname.lastname@example.org
History of the Program: The TERP Allies program draws on material shared by Stephanie Goodwin (October 27, 2016) during a workshop entitled: Becoming an ally: Strategies for responding to bias, presented at the University of Maryland, College Park. The program was also inspired by Jennifer Barclay's (UMCP) play "The Experiment", the UNH PowerPlay Program: https://www.unh.edu/powerplay/ and Change it Up! University of Michigan https://hr.umich.edu/working-u-m/professional-development/courses/change-it