Mayor Eric Garcetti Thursday announced the mandatory implicit bias training program all city employees will be required to attend, a key element of the executive directive on racial equality he signed in June.
The Anti Bias Learning for Employees, or ABLE program, will be run as a collaboration between the mayor’s office and the Personnel Department’s Office of Workplace Equity.
The Ohio State University-based Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity will adapt its implicit bias training for Los Angeles city employees, Garcetti said during his COVID-19 briefing Thursday.
The program will incorporate video, reading content and interactive quizzes in an effort to help participants understand the historical, psychological and institutional causes of implicit bias, the mayor’s office said.
The program will also explore how long-standing structures affect the way people think and act. Each trainee will have the opportunity to take the Harvard University Implicit Associations tests to discover their own implicit biases.
The Kirwan modules will be adapted to deliver content specific to Los Angeles, including three original video lessons that focus on hiring, workplace conduct and customer service; and new quizzes crafted in clear and easy-to-understand language.
“Because advancing equity starts with each one of us looking inward, knowing our hearts better and knowing where we can continue to be better allies and moving forward racial justice and racial equity, dismantle racism for good and continue on that pathway for justice for every Angelino to make this truly a city of belonging,” Garcetti said.
Further details about the training, and when each department is expected to receive it, was not immediately available from Garcetti’s office.
Some city departments, including the police department, have anti-implicit bias training.
“As we stand in the shadow of Martin Luther King Day, we’re reminded that our commitment to equity isn’t just limited to how we distribute vaccines, it should be a part of everything we do,” Garcetti said.
Garcetti signed an executive directive on June 19, amid widespread protests against racism and police brutality, to address racial equity in Los Angeles by requiring city departments to plan for the reinstatement of affirmative action in California and for city employees to take implicit-bias training.
Garcetti also appointed Brenda Shockley to be the city’s first chief officer of the recently established Office of Racial Equity and began installing equity officers inside various city departments.
Proposition 16, which would have repealed California’s 1996 ban on allowing the consideration of race, ethnicity and gender in government decisions such as hiring, awarding of contracts and university admissions, was defeated in November.