News coverage of recent events in Ferguson, New York City, Baltimore, and elsewhere highlight the psychological science showing that even people who value equality often act in ways that perpetuate and increase inequality. Implicit bias, such as automatic stereotyping and evaluation, affects numerous kinds of professionals, including people working in alternative dispute resolution. See for yourself—take an implicit bias test here.
In 2015-16, the Oregon ADR Center will examine the intersection of ADR and implicit bias. How does implicit bias affect the neutrality of ADR professionals? And can ADR practices reduce the effects of implicit bias?
Over the year, we will host speakers, workshops, and other events that explore how ADR is both a problem and solution to implicit bias.
Oregon Law’s ADR Center emphasizes the importance of working toward social justice through alternative processes and innovative research. One of the most common criticisms of ADR is that it prioritizes peace at the expense of justice. Here at Oregon Law’s ADR Center, we believe that there can be no peace without justice—but that pursuing justice often requires creative, collaborative, alternative approaches.
The three parts of our commitment to social justice are scholarship, projects, and the annual Big Question. Oregon Law’s ADR faculty researches and writes scholarship that examines how dispute resolution and systems design can improve (or worsen) equality and other social justice concerns.
Our student research fellows spearhead and assist with projects that further social justice goals. We welcome opportunities to work with other organizations, on campus and off, to innovative creative solutions to persistent social justice challenges.