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Posted on: September 8, 2020

Community Conversations series to discuss implicit bias launching in October

Community Conversations Graphic

In an effort to bring the community together to examine and discuss implicit bias, systematic racism and racial justice, Mayor Emily Styron, in coordination with Zionsville Police Department and Zionsville Board of Police Commissioners, announces Community Conversations: Listening, Learning and Living Better Together.


The series begins on Thursday, Oct. 8 and includes five virtual sessions on Thursday evenings from 7 – 8:30 p.m. (no meeting on October 15 due to Zionsville Community Schools Fall Break). Topics planned for conversation include:

  • Thursday, Oct. 8: The Origin of Implicit Bias
  • Thursday, Oct. 22: The Impact of Implicit Bias on Individuals, Organizations and Society
  • Thursday, Oct. 29: Managing the Influence of Implicit Bias
  • Thursday, Nov. 5: Systematic Racism: What is the Definition and Who Does it Impact?
  • Thursday, Nov. 12: How Can We Improve Racial Justice?


Dr. Abbie Robinson-Armstrong, Ph.D. will facilitate the discussions. Robinson-Armstrong is a Zionsville resident and former Vice President for Intercultural Affairs and Professor at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles, CA. Robinson-Armstrong has an impressive curriculum vitae and decades of experience in higher education. During her 18 years at LMU, Robinson-Armstrong designed and implemented an internationally renowned evidence-based program on identifying and mitigating implicit bias. Participants included 8,000+ executive and mid-level administrators, professors, K-12 teachers, staff and students across the U.S. and Canada. Robinson-Armstrong has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Indianapolis, a Master of Science degree from Indiana University and a Ph.D. from the University of Toledo.


Mayor Emily Styron and Chief Spears will join Robinson-Armstrong during the conversations. Participants can expect a virtual presentation followed by a short question and answer session. There will also be weekly readings on the topics sent to the group and short pre- and post-session homework to set the stage for discussion.


“This effort is a response to a collective call for action to help our community become more inclusive and equitable toward all people,” said Mayor Emily Styron. “We are committing to action and are inviting the community with us as we learn, grow and change.”


“Participation in the conversations will motivate some participants to examine their attitudes and consider the way that systems they may be part of contribute to the negative consequences of systematic racism,” said Robinson-Armstrong. “Then they will be more prepared for thinking about how to make things better in Zionsville.”


Participants in the Community Conversations series will be invited to join the discussions virtually. Those interested in participating can contact Amanda Vela at avela@zionsville-in.gov.

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