Tony Cárdenas calls on House Democrats to address a glaring lack of diversity in positions on Capitol Hill.

“As we work to dismantle systemic racism throughout the United States, it is time for us to be bold, break our habits, and correct our flaws as a legislative body and a caucus. “

Tony Cárdenas

In Congress, people of color hold only 13.6 percent of the senior staff positions. This is not for a lack of diverse candidates who are dedicated and qualified. How can we expect to address issues of racial discrimination when the vast majority of our staff working on these issues cannot speak directly to the experiences of racial injustice? Read the full article HERE.

Congress is not unique. Bias can debilitate job seekers every where, and at all levels.

The University of California, San Francisco, Office of Diversity and Outreach defines unconscious bias as“social stereotypes about certain groups of people that individuals form outside their own conscious awareness.” Bias affects everyone’s decisions, including during the hiring process. Unconscious bias can lead to “microaggressions,”

Kevin Nadal, a professor of psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, defines microaggressions as the everyday, subtle, intentional — and often unintentional — interactions or behaviors that communicate some sort of bias toward historically marginalized groups.

There’s a difference between microaggressions and overt discrimination or macro-aggressions. The overtly discriminatory person is what most people would think of as a racist. However, people who commit microaggressors might not even be aware of them. However, for the people on the receiving end, microaggressions can seem nonsensical, be frustrating, or even insulting. We are in a time of open forums and discussions around race, and we need to understand how the subtle variations of bias and discrimination can look. 

The more we are willing to have open conversations about the discriminatory habits that have plagued us, the more we can move forward to unify the beautiful United States of America.