About

(Don’t) Guess My Race is an e-learning program that reduces implicit bias and sparks productive conversations by bringing a social science learning mindset to diversity and inclusion efforts. The program was developed by Dr. Michael Baran, cultural anthropologist, after twenty years of experience researching, teaching, presenting and consulting on race and diversity issues around the world. The program’s educational points come from established research in anthropology, psychology, history, sociology, political science and cultural studies. The design of the program itself is based on principles that have been scientifically shown to reduce bias and stereotyping. It can be implemented as a stand-alone learning tool or in combination with an in-person learning experience such as a keynote talk or workshop.

The program relates key learning points about diversity and inclusion to real people and their experiences. Users of the program contemplate photographs of everyday people we interviewed and try to guess how these people might have self-identified when asked the question, “What race are you?” The multiple choice categories the user is given to choose from are far from straightforward; for each photograph, the categories form part of the learning experience and make guessing the actual self-identification incredibly challenging. Users see how people self-identified and they read more detail about how the person in the photograph thinks about their identity. Learning about a wide variety of people provides the user with a rich exposure to diverse identities. The program builds on that experience with individual identities to effectively communicate about broader issues including implicit bias, structural inequality, current events, popular media, inclusion in the workplace and in schools, microaggressions and historical and cultural constructions of race. Although the program enters into topics such as bias and inclusion through the lens of race, it also engages with other critical interrelated axes of identity such as gender, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, language, nationality, region and ability.

Features

  • Cost-effective way to deliver sophisticated content to large numbers of people.
  • Built-in assessment ensures users are retaining key lessons.
  • Additional content packs available so learning never stops.
  • User data tracking and analytics.
  • Relevant references to current events and popular media.
  • Accessible on computers, tablets and smartphone devices.
  • Stunning photographs of real people from varied backgrounds.
  • Makes diversity and inclusion training interesting and inspiring!

Services

Interactive Diversity Solutions is passionate about bringing a social science perspective to reducing bias and creating more inclusive spaces to work and to learn. We work with your organization to find the right combination of services for your specific needs. Services offered include:

Speaker Services: Dr. Baran, cultural anthropologist and President of IDS, has spoken on race and diversity issues throughout the country and the world. He has presented to representatives from corporations (such as Boeing, Alaska Air, Costco, and Starbucks), schools (ranging from Harvard University to high schools and middle schools) and foundations/non-profits (such as MacArthur Foundation, National Human Services Assembly and Transform Justice). Recent speaking topics include: Reducing Implicit Bias Through Social Science, Flipping the Classroom on Race and Diversity, Multiple and Complex Identities in Times of Disruptive Change, Creating Inclusive Spaces: New Ways to Think and Talk about Race and Diversity.

Workshops: In addition to speaking services, experienced facilitator Dr. Baran can lead smaller group discussions. These sessions will be highly interactive and designed to spark conversation, bring people together and increase inclusion in both work and learning environments. Workshop topics can be tailored to provide the learning experience your organization is seeking. Workshops can be given to everyone in an organization or for specific groups such as employee resource groups, leadership teams, diversity officers, recruiters, human resources, etc.

Train-the-Trainer: If an organization prefers to facilitate its own workshops internally, Dr. Baran can conduct train-the-trainer workshops, working specifically with the diversity team, the HR leadership and/or the learning and development team to provide interactive activities and lessons from the social sciences that can be applied to the workplace to reduce bias and increase inclusion.

Interactive Digital eLearning Program: (Don’t) Guess My Race covers key topics for inclusive and respectful workplaces in an engaging, educational way. The program can be used as a self-contained compliance course for new and existing employees or it can be used to complement any of the other services described, as pre-work and/or follow-up for in-person learning experiences.

Select Clients, Partners and Audiences

Boeing
Costco
Dshs
Jcmhlogo
Davis miles
Des moines
Indiana
Henderworks
Kg diversity
Mit logo
Nordstrom
Nwdls image
Parchment
Starbucks
Learners group
Tmi
Wells fargo
Weyerhaeuser
Public media
Port of seattle
Outerwall

Testimonials

In all my years I have yet to see a tool with as much potential to change the way people think about diversity and which also allows people to have those courageous conversations that need to happen.

What works so well about the (Don’t) Guess My Race diversity program is that it’s very easy for employees to use—it’s fun and interesting, done on their own time and pace. But what really excites me, as opposed to other diversity initiatives, is that this one actually has the potential to impact how employees view and talk about race and diversity issues. It opens up great conversations and raises issues around implicit bias. (Don’t) Guess My Race is really going to make a difference to any company looking to not just avoid problems around diversity (though it will accomplish this as well), but to strive towards an inclusive and diverse company culture.

The game was incredibly effective at unsettling students’ understandings of race and pushing them to think more deeply at how racialization works. It’s engaging and effective.

By combining gaming, art, the participants own poignant words, and bite-sized nuggets of anthropological insight into how race developed—or rather how we developed it, Baran is turning a converstation stopper into a converstation starter.

Team

Team1

PRESIDENT

Michael Baran is a cultural anthropologist with more than twenty years experience conducting and organizing ethnographic research for social change on a variety of issues, including race and identity, racial disparities in education, violence against children, healthy housing, environmental health, human services, criminal justice reform, immigration reform, climate change, and early childhood development. Dr. Baran has conducted research domestically and internationally, most extensively in Brazil, Guatemala, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Canada and Haiti.

He currently consults for businesses, schools and non-profits on issues related to diversity and inclusion, often incorporating the digital tools developed at Interactive Diversity Solutions as part of a blended approach. In this capacity, he has presented on diversity and inclusion issues to representatives from companies such as Starbucks, Boeing, Nordstrom and Costco. He has been quoted or featured in numerous articles on race in the media from sources such as the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Slate, Wired Magazine, CNN, CBS Evening News with Katie Couric and others.

In addition to his IDS work, he has taught courses on race and identity, Latin America, child development, expository writing and research methodology at Harvard University and the University of Michigan. He has worked as Associate Director at the FrameWorks Institute and currently works as a Principal Researcher at the American Institutes of Research. In that capacity, he manages the community-based research on a USAID-funded project aimed to leverage deep foundational research to better inform interventions and communications to reduce violence against children in Haiti. In this project and others, Baran builds capacity with teams of local researchers to conduct culturally relevant research and to support the long-term sustainability of multi-year, multi-method projects with previous funders including the MacArthur Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Harvard Center on the Developing Child, UNICEF and the Bernard van Leer Foundation.

Dr. Baran received his B.A. from Emory University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology with a certificate in ‘Culture and Cognition’ from the University of Michigan. He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and is learning Haitian Creole.

mbaran@interactivediversitysolutions.com

Team2

CEO

Michael Handelman has been creating educational interactive multi-media for the past 15 years. He has produced over 100 products (apps, software titles, toys, video game platforms, MMOs) with combined sales of over 40 million units. Many of these products have won awards such as the Educational Toy of the Year, Parents' Choice Gold Seal and Common Sense Media’s top 100 educational programs. Handelman has led efforts to design new approaches to teaching phonics, math and social emotional curriculum to young children. He has developed innovative interactive play patterns, several of which are patented. Handelman also has created game design templates that led to cost and budget reductions of over 35%, as well as standards and guidelines for a variety of educational software platforms. Recognized as a leader in the field, he has presented at several conferences including the Austin Game Developer’s Conference.

In addition to his work at IDS, Handelman currently consults and contracts with leading educational and game publishers such as Hasbro, Mattel, Houghton Mifflin and LeapFrog. He also advices companies, such as PBS Kids, around their childrens’ digital strategy and best practices for designing educational experiences. Handelman has previously worked as an interactive producer for LeapFrog, and Director of Content and Co-Founder of an educational games start-up company.

Handelman received his B.A. from Emory University and his M.A. in psychology from Alliant University.

mhandelman@interactivediversitysolutions.com