IN FOCUS: Inequality at the margins

In Focus

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Sometimes biases, such as racism, sexism, or gender bias can be obvious. But more often than not, people of color struggle with biases that are subtle, like workplace issues, microaggressions, or offhand comments in conversations. In this IN FOCUS discussion, a panel of three guests joined ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen on the CW30 News at 7 p.m. to talk about “Inequality at the Margins.”

The guests were Dr. Mary Ann Villarreal, vice president for diversity, inclusion, and equity at the University of Utah; Shawn Newell, an inclusion, diversity, and equity consultant; and Neelam Chand, the owner of Shift SLC, which is an equity consulting firm.

In part one, the guests defined what a microaggression is and discussed instances when they’ve experienced it themselves. They talked about implicit biases, how they play a role with microaggressions, and the harm they can have on individuals and communities.

In part two, Newell discussed what “the talk” is that Black and African American parents have with their children as well as the heated debate over the display of LGBTQ+ and Black Lives Matter flags in schools. Dr. Villarreal talked about the evolution of thought in conversations regarding topics like confederate statues and changing the name of Dixie State University. Chand explained how she views the issue of controversial mascots and their perception before it grew into public consciousness.

In part three, Newell discussed how a recent WalletHub survey stated that Utah is at the bottom in terms of diversity and what he recommends to individuals who feel that they are victims of implicit bias or microaggressions. Dr. Villarreal talked about the “Reframing the Conversation” panel series they’ve implemented at the University of Utah. Chand shared what she recommends to businesses who want to address issues of race, equity, and inclusion.

To watch the full IN FOCUS discussion with Dr. Villarreal, Newell, and Chand, click on the video at the top of the article.

Catch IN FOCUS discussions with ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen weeknights on the CW30 News at 7 p.m.

Rosie Nguyen is an award-winning journalist who joined the ABC4 News team as a reporter in January 2018. In September 2020, she embarked on a new journey as the anchor for the CW30 News at 7 p.m. Although she’s not out in the field anymore, she is continuing her passion for social justice and community issues through the nightly “In Focus” discussions.

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