On 4/12, two black men were sitting at a table at Starbucks without making a purchase and were arrested when declining a store manager’s demand to leave.
Since then, Starbucks’ CEO Kevin Johnson has announced changes to its policy including mandatory implicit bias tests, shutting down all US Starbucks stores on May 29th. This opens larger conversations about what is implicit bias, how it can be harmful, and whether Starbucks’ implicit bias test can actually make a difference.
Implicit bias refers to the automatic associations people have in their minds about a group of people, including stereotypes. They are formed subconsciously and unintentionally, but result in the prejudiced behaviors, attitudes, and actions for or against a person or group of people.
According to CNN, studies have shown that implicit bias contributes to “shooter bias”, the tendency for the police to shoot unarmed black suspects more often than white ones
Starbucks’ Implicit Bias training intends to combat the issue of implicit bias. However according to Cornell professor, Michelle Duguid’s research, sometimes implicit bias trainings have a negative effect on its audience; by explaining to people that stereotyping is common, people are sometimes actually more likely to express those biases.
- Staff lend a helping hand on Homeless Service Day. Left to right: Diana Cervantes, Claudia Ramirez, Cristian Ruiz, Jamie Matter and Jennifer Acuna
On February 8, the Coastside Outpatient Mental Health Clinic participated in a homeless service day, coordinated by the City of Half Moon Bay and the Human Services Agency.
A heavily populated homeless encampment behind the Safeway in Half Moon Bay will be closed by early April. In contrast to other cities that have quickly removed homeless encampments with little notice, Half Moon Bay is taking a planned, phased approach. The goal of the service day was to connect homeless individuals on site to services to support them through this transition.
There were over 27 individual service providers and 14 county agencies and departments, including the Homeless Outreach Team, Adult Resource Management, Coastside Hope and San Mateo Medical Center. Read more
Dr. Jei Africa recently left his post as director of the Office of Diversity and Equity after nearly 11 years with BHRS. Check out this article in the San Mateo Daily Journal for a look into the legacy Jei has left behind. We wish him the best of luck as he embarks on a new journey as director of Marin County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services!
For more on Jei and the other dedicated staff ending their time with BHRS, check out this Wellness Matters article.
One of our very own, Briana Evans, Senior Community Health Planner with the Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE), was recently featured on Pen Voice. Check out the video below for Briana’s take on the innovative work of the African American Community Initiative and the importance of all of our Health Equity Initiatives.
With just two weeks until the January 31 deadline to sign up for health insurance through Covered California, an estimated 29,000 San Mateo County residents still do not have health insurance and may qualify for financial help. The health system is encouraging all county residents to enroll in affordable health coverage. Check out the news release for more information.
There will be free health coverage enrollments, along with a presentation on health coverage programs for all immigrants in California at the Health Coverage for All forum on January 28.