The Racism and Bias Initiative (RBI) was launched to explicitly address and undo racism in all areas of the medical school. Although we have change targets specific to all of the functional areas of the school (focusing on targeted groups or key stakeholders), there is a growing need and request from staff to become more intentional about integrating RBI into their day-to-day work. How do we as staff make the connection between key concepts (e.g., equity, inclusion, anti-racism, etc.) and what we do on a day-to-day basis? How do we engage in focused and sustained action as part of our job function to address racism and all isms in our work and learning environments? How can our job roles and functions change systems, institutional practices or procedures that have racist effects?  How do we do “the work” at work without creating more work?

In response to this need and request, a Team Learning Lab will be included in RBI’s menu of projects and events.

The Objectives 

The Team Learning Lab will enable ISMMS staff to:

  1. Develop individual and team knowledge of key concepts related to bias and racism
  2. Create a space or laboratory for teams/units to strategize how to apply key concepts to day-to-day job functions
  3. Apply tools and practices to address bias and racism in current jobs and team roles


The Approach 

The lab will be a professional development opportunity that will follow a team-based learning (TBL) approach. By applying TBL strategies to professional development, staff are not only exposed to new, work appropriate content, but are able to experience firsthand how they can incorporate key concepts and promote learning, team development, and interpersonal communication skills.

The recommendation is for each unit to participate together as a team. Full participation includes:

  • Attending four (quarterly) in-person 2.5 hour sessions
  •  Applying key concepts, tools and/or practices to day to day work and report on successes   
The Concepts

Key concepts that will be covered during Team Learning Labs might include:

  •  Working from a systems perspective
  • Moving from awareness to action (unconscious bias)
  • Building a mindset of inclusion
  • Bringing the bystander forward
  • Cultivating a culture of respect
  • Engaging in transformative dialogue about race and racism


Want more information?

*A note to the reader: The Team Learning Lab differs from the Personal Learning Lab that is currently on the site.