Celebrate "Uniqueness" - Unconscious Bias class at Otoyo Gakuen


Kochi Newspaper 「気付こう無意識の偏見 高知県大豊町の大豊学園で生徒40人学ぶ」


“The nail that sticks out gets hammered down”

Japanese proverb

Uniqueness isn’t celebrated here, it’s frowned upon. But it doesn’t have to be this way. 

I have three mixed race children who are mixed with Italian, British, African American and Japanese. I know I was confused growing up not knowing where I fit in. I can only imagine how my children are adjusting to a rural local Japanese life.

This is why I decided to educate the locals, teachers, parents, local government, and children, the truths about our “unconsciousness”. We all have it. It’s animal instinct. We learn and store data in our brain so we can impulsively react to danger. That’s where unconscious bias stems from. 

In our lifetime, we see, hear, smell, taste and experience things that we then store in our brains. For example, when you put a fatty wagyu in your mouth, your mouth buds explode. So next time you see something resembling a wagyu, you gain a bias towards a wagyu vs non-wagyu beef. 

Children’s brains are still forming and they haven’t yet formed those biases that adults have. 

 taught “unconscious bias” to the parents, teachers and then to the children at our local school yesterday where our children attend. They were all very attentive and so quickly picked up the concept, weren’t shy to speak up and gave me lots of examples from their own experiences. 

I’ll be giving three more of these free seminars across this region this year together with the Gender Equality Bureau, Japan Cabinet Office to educate everyone on the importance to embrace “uniqueness”.