Tuesday, September 25, 2018 | ePaper

Zero Discrimination Day

  • Print


Alyssa Walker :
March 1, is Zero Discrimination Day, a day sponsored by UNAIDS. UNAIDS is highlighting the right of everyone to be free of discrimination. This includes discrimination based age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, race, ethnicity, language, health, geographical location, economic status, migrant status, or any other reason. Millions of people face discrimination every day for who they are, what they believe, and what they do.
Let's take a closer look at some biases you may not even realize you have:
1. Physical appearance
Ever have a dentist with blue hair? How about a doctor with lots of visible tattoos? A lawyer with lots of piercings?
Appearances dictate a lot of what we think, whether we like it or not, or acknowledge it.
While there are laws that prevent discrimination against people for lots of things, physical appearance isn't one of them.
If your dentist had blue hair, you'd probably make a judgment. You'd probably be less likely to judge the gas station attendant with blue hair. Bottom line? Treat people with respect, regardless of hair color, tattoos, piercings, or unique clothing. Don't make assumptions.
You never know someone else's story, even if you think you can guess.
2. Older people and employment
Older people face employment discrimination constantly.
Age discrimination is illegal under the Age Discrimination Act, but people experience it all the time.
What is it? It's when a job seeker or employee is treated unfairly because of their age-and it's happening earlier and earlier.
What's the problem? In addition to being "too old," even if you're in your early 40s, more experienced job candidates are often overlooked for jobs for which they're qualified because they cost more to employ in terms of salary and benefits.
Guess what? There's no research that shows a relationship between age and job performance.
Remember that.
3. Invisible disabilities
What's an invisible disability?
What it sounds like. It's a disability you can't see. Chronic pain, heart disease, epilepsy, mental impairment, depression, sight loss, hearing loss, Crohn's disease, Lyme disease, lupus, orthopedic issues-the list goes on.
Sufferers may appear "normal," but their disabilities cause them to suffer discrimination, especially at work.
Anything from bathroom accessibility to distances from the parking lot to the office affects individuals with invisible disabilities as much as they affect those with visible disabilities.
The law requires that employers make reasonable accommodations for all employees.
Bottom line again? Don't judge. Don't assume.
4. Name discrimination
Guess what? If you didn't already know it, there's racial bias in names.
Students and job applicants with "black-sounding names" are less likely to experience success at school and at work. They're less likely to have their questions answered on the phone and by email.
A 2015 study published in Evolution and Human Behavior shows that men with black-sounding names are more likely to be imagined as physically large, dangerous and violent than those with stereotypically white names.
In an article of the same year in The Huffington Post, Dr. Colin Holbrook, a researcher at the UCLA Center for Behavior, Evolution, and Culture said of the study, "The participant sample, despite being slightly left of center politically, automatically attributed violence to individuals based solely on having names like Darnell or Juan, whereas names such as Connor automatically led to expectations of prestige and status."
His conclusion? "The first step is to become aware of the prejudices we hold," Holbrook said. "We should accept that, in all likelihood, largely unconscious and unfounded negative stereotypes are patterned in our minds. Knowing that prejudicial stereotypes are embedded within us can help us to control whether we allow them to affect the way we treat people who we may view as different."
Sounds like good advice. Celebrate Zero Discrimination Day every day.

 (Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family).

More News For this Category

The self-defeat of academia

The self-defeat of academia

Elliot Berkman :These last few years have been tough for higher education. Enrollment is down year over year, state funding increases have stalled even as costs skyrocket, and most

Int'l Literacy Day 2018

Int'l Literacy Day 2018

Professor Quazi Faruque Ahmed :The theme of International Literacy Day 2018 is: 'Literacy and Skills Development'. September 8th was proclaimed as International Literacy Day (ILD) at the 14th session

Harvard University Day : Learn to change the world

Harvard University Day : Learn to change the world

Khana Ranjan Roy and Arafat Mustafa :Harvard University Founded in the 8th September 1636, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. Harvard  is the home of American ideas. Harvard University is devoted

LEDP: A blessing for students' employability development

LEDP: A blessing for students' employability development

Khalid Hasan :Every year thousands of students most of whom are rooted in the lower-middle-class family come to Dhaka in pursuit of fortune find it difficult to keep pace

English learning in Bangladesh: Needs more attention

English learning in Bangladesh: Needs more attention

Dr. Syed Nesar Ahmad Rumy :English, the international language is not a language only. It is almost a technology nowadays in Bangladesh and as well as other non- English

Mental health crisis among students

Mental health crisis among students

Alyssa Walker :A new study suggests that graduate students need more mental health support than they currently have. The study, published in Nature, suggests that graduate students have a

Let future trends dictate your education

Let future trends dictate your education

Campus Desk :Education is a major life investment. It takes time, money and a great deal of effort to achieve a degree. However, in this global society your education

Four fields of study to consider on World Water Day

Four fields of study to consider on World Water Day

Joanna Hughes :While most of us may not think twice about the water we drink every day, 2.1 billion people across the globe live without safe drinking water.  Because

Parent's guide to phonics

Parent's guide to phonics

Campus Desk  :What exactly is phonics? Many parents hear the term when their child is learning to read, but a lot of them have no clue what teachers are

Mentoring in educational institutions matters

Mentoring in educational institutions matters

Ashiqur Rahman :According to the University of Michigan, mentors are advisors, people with career experiences willing to share their knowledge with colleagues and students; support providers who give emotional