Girlfriends Work Together to Combat Bias


Implicit bias is a real thing, and we are working to combat it. Are you wondering if we’re out of our lane here? Well, we don’t think so. Bias can impact who we invite to join ninety-nine girlfriends, who we encourage to lead, and which organizations we deem worthy of a grant–to name a few examples. There are other ways bias rears its ugly head, but these are a few that exemplify the importance of awareness, education, and practice around this subject.

Nearly 70 awesome members came together at Mercy Corps on a snowy day in March to do this important work along with learning more about the #metoo movement and how to interrupt microaggressions. One such member, Angela Patrick, shared “I enjoyed the 2019 Implicit Bias Workshop just as much as I did the previous year. The facilitators were excellent once again, and I am grateful for the positive energy I soaked up from my fellow girlfriends.” The appreciative feelings were echoed by Barbara and Marina, of Diamond Law Training (DLT), who shared after the workshop "Ninety-nine girlfriends is one of the most thoughtful, engaged groups we have ever trained. We always look forward to working with you, and we thank you for having us!"

The workshop was rich with the opportunity to connect with other members and to share lived experiences while learning together. Sample scenarios provided by DLT were a hit with participants, as was the documentary “My Whole Self.” Member Debbie Elliott said “The implicit bias workshop amplified my awareness and empathy for others and their experiences. Particularly enlightening was the film the facilitators produced highlighting local people from diverse backgrounds authentically and sensitively sharing their personal experiences with bias.”

Although we have not yet received the complete report, here is one impressive response to the training from the workshop survey: “Participants unanimously agreed the training engaged them, provided new information, and gave them concrete tools to reduce bias in their daily lives.”

If you missed out on this offering–brought to you by your Member Education Committee and member sponsors Toya Fick, Deborah Edward, Elisa deCastro Hornecker, and Tammy Wilhoite–you can find some of the resources we used here on our website, or you may reach out to

“Everybody is sitting around saying, ‘Well, jeez, we need somebody to solve this problem of bias.’ That somebody is us. We all have to try to figure out a better way to get along.” 
— Wilma Mankiller