In March, the singing legend, Madonna got on social media and stated that COVID-19 is “the great equalizer”. While we understand the spirit behind her message, the reality is that this pandemic has affected certain groups disproportionately. This pandemic has magnified the inequities that existed long before and will continue long afterward unless and until we begin to examine the beliefs and biases that we “bring to the table” every day.
During this Platform, Paul examined what implicit bias is and how it influences people, practices, policies and procedures.
Paul Forbes is the Executive Director within the Office of Equity and Access. A native New Yorker who was born, raised, and still lives in Brooklyn, he has dedicated his professional life to working with students and families from historically underrepresented neighborhoods and communities. After three years in Harlem as a Dean of Discipline, Paul has spent 17 years as a central administrator in various roles; Community Based Organization (CBO) Coordinator, Youth Development Director, Safety Director, Suspension Director and the Senior Director of the Expanded Success Initiative.
In his current role as Executive Director for Educational Equity, Anti-Bias and Diversity, Paul provides oversight and support for the effective implementation and continuous development of the Implicit Bias/CRE initiative. He also helps develop a strategic vision to guide the implementation of trainings and professional development to schools, after-school providers, districts and Borough Support Offices on equity topics within education that includes implicit bias, culturally responsive education and discussions around systemic and structural racism.
Sunday Platform is our most important and long-standing community event. These gatherings educate, stimulate personal growth, inspire reflection and action, and strengthen our community. Sunday meetings usually begin with music, followed by greetings and a talk given by a Society Leader, member, or guest. Platforms cover a variety of topics that reflect current events, pressing social issues, and Ethical Culture philosophy. A collection basket is passed and money is shared between the Society and a charity selected for that day. While contributions are always appreciated, Sunday meetings are free and open to the public. Each Sunday meeting is followed by a luncheon and social hour.
To view previous Sunday Platform addresses and interviews, visit the Ethical NYC YouTube channel.