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Battling Bias

April 22, 2022

Justice Goodwin Liu of the California Supreme Court spoke about implicit and structural bias during the Provost’s Lecture on Diversity and the Owen J. Roberts Lecture in Constitutional Law.

From Penn Today:

In almost every organizational setting, leaders have been grappling with issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The terms “implicit bias” and “structural bias” have become familiar in these discussions, but the concepts aren’t always well-defined.

The Provost’s Lecture on Diversity joined with the Owen J. Roberts Lecture in Constitutional Law to host Justice Goodwin Liu of the California Supreme Court. Drawing on recent work from the National Academy of Sciences, Liu shared his thoughts on implicit bias and structural bias, as well as possible legal responses and mitigation strategies applicable to a variety of institutions and organizations.

In remarks before the event, Ted Ruger, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School dean and Bernard G. Segal Professor of Law, pointed out that the lecture’s namesake, former U.S. Supreme Court justice and former Penn Law dean Owen J. Roberts, was one of three dissenting votes in Korematsu v. United States. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that wartime internment of American citizens of Japanese descent was constitutional.

“He saw then that group-based stereotypes and descriptions based on national identity were fundamentally un-American: inappropriate then, inappropriate now,” Ruger said. “I’m pleased that Justice Dean Roberts saw that half a century ago, and we still recognize how fundamental such stereotyping is to our enterprise and to our national and global values… .”

Read more at Penn Today.

Watch Justice Liu’s lecture: