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Bias Busting Lunch and Learn Series

Written by
AIGA Nebraska
March 6, 2018

Join us for a 4-part lunch and professional development series focused on recognizing unconscious bias and providing tools to make conscious changes in behavior. 

We are going to explore how biases are created and reinforced by our environments and experiences, and can affect our perceptions, decisions, and interactions. We want to get to the heart of the issue, learn to understand why we make the choices we do and start to implement changes in our behavior, both personally and professionally.

Through these lunches, we are raising awareness, sparking conversations, and initiating action. The goal is to create more inviting workplaces that allow anyone, regardless of age, gender, gender identity, physical abilities, religion, body size or sexual orientation, to contribute and innovate without hesitation or fear.

In order to achieve this, we have partnered with some of the Midwest’s leading experts in diversity and inclusion to share their knowledge and experience with us beginning in May and ending in August, 2018. This series is for all creatives, managers, owners, teachers and anyone who works with others. It is open to the public and all are welcome. Let our Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Cathy Solarana, know if you have any special requests a week before the lunch at


Sign up here

We are really excited about this series and everyone who is involved in making it happen, so to provide space for dynamic dialogue and takeaways, each lunch is limited to 25 participants. Register today before it’s full. We can’t wait to see you there!


What will we cover in this series?

As with many things related to diversity and inclusion, bias remains poorly understood and often misunderstood. While we stubbornly cling to the idea that “bad people” are biased and “good people” are naturally free of bias, the truth is that as human beings, we are naturally, automatically, and relentlessly biased. Most bias does not involve any hatred or ignorance. As far as bias is concerned, we are all a part of the problem, which means that we all share the responsibility for being a part of the solution.

Session 1  | How do I recognize unconscious bias in myself? What can I do about it once I’ve recognized it?
This session introduces you to unintentional bias, where it comes from, how it impacts our lives, and what are some things that we can do to be part of the solution.

Facilitator: Joe Gerstandt
Tuesday, May 8, from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm at Big Mama’s Kitchen

Session 2  | What are the best hiring practices to increase diversity in your teams, firm, or company?
Organizational practices and processes are riddled with bias, not because organizations are evil and hateful, but because they are filled with naturally biased human beings. We can certainly make our peers more aware of the science of bias and encourage them to adopt some intentional practices toward mitigating bias, but our biggest lever for reducing bias is likely to be found in redesigning organizational practices and processes based on what we know about human bias. This session gives you a framework and an opportunity to begin doing just that.

Facilitator: Joe Gerstandt
Tuesday, June 12, from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Location: New Gold Mountain Restaurant

Session 3  | Understanding the bias in networking relationships
“No man is an island,” especially in the workplace! Often times, you may get work done by a team of people with whom you network. But, are you getting the best from each team member? Understanding one’s own biases can be a way to unlock the potential of the team.

Facilitator: Martha (Mart) Sedky
Wednesday, July 11, from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Location: Guaca Maya Restaurant

Session 4 | Recognizing bias in design and what to do about it.

Facilitator: Antionette Carroll
Tuesday, August 7, from 11:30 am– 12:30 pm
Location TBD


Who are our experts?

Joe Gerstandt |

Joe Gerstandt is a speaker, author and advisor bringing greater clarity, action, and impact to organizational diversity and inclusion efforts. He has worked with Fortune 100 corporations, small non-profits, and everything in between. He speaks at numerous conferences and summits. Joe is a featured contributor for the Workforce Diversity Network Expert Forum and his insights have been published in Diversity Best Practices, Diversity Executive, HR Executive, The Diversity Factor, The American Diversity Report, the Corporate Recruiting Leadership Journal, Associations Now, other print and on-line journals and he co-authored the book Social Gravity: Harnessing the Natural Laws of Relationships.


Martha (Mart) Sedky | OPPD

Martha L. Sedky is Vice President Human Capital (HC) at OPPD. She is responsible for OPPD’s Human Capital functions, including Labor and Compliance, Total Rewards, Organizational Development, Business Partnering, and Talent Acquisition. Sedky has more than 25 years of experience in the Human Resources field including several leadership positions. She is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management and the Corporate Executive Board CHRO Council. Sedky has previously held board positions with WELLCOM and the Institute for Career Advancement Needs (ICAN) and currently serves on the board of Grief’s Journey.


Antionette Carroll |

Antionette D. Carroll is the Founder and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab, a nonprofit social enterprise designing healthy and racially equitable communities for Black and Latinx populations. Throughout her career, Antionette has worked for social justice, human rights, and diversity and inclusion nonprofits – with her last position being head of communications for Diversity Awareness Partnership. Currently, Antionette is the Chair Emeritus of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force of AIGA: The Professional Association of Design. At the local level, she is also serving as President Emerita of AIGA St. Louis and co-founder of the Design + Diversity Conference and Podcast. She is a TED Fellow.



If you have questions or need more information, please contact Cathy Solarana, AIGA NE Director of Diversity & Inclusion at

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