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Upstander Cafés teach employees how to intervene against bias

Penn State Health employees can learn how to recognize microaggressions and unconscious bias in the workplace during monthly Upstander Cafés that begin this June. They can also explore some strategies for how to intervene, or become an upstander, when a microaggression or bias occurs.

Hosted by the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, each one-hour session will focus on several actual microaggression/bias scenarios that were submitted by Penn State Health employees. The group will review ways employees can intervene and practice their upstander skills through role-play.

“Microaggressions and unconscious bias, unfortunately, do occur in the workplace,” said Lynette Chappell-Williams, vice president and chief diversity officer. “But these Upstander Cafés will help change that by equipping employees to identify and react to those situations in a supportive, constructive way.”

Virtual Zoom sessions are scheduled on Fridays from noon to 1 p.m. on the following dates:

  • July 2 – Register here.
  • Aug. 6 – Register here.

In-person sessions will take place at St. Joseph, Hershey, Hampden and Holy Spirit medical centers and Lime Spring Outpatient Center starting in September. Watch the Daily Brief for dates, room locations and sign-up information.

For more information about Upstander Cafés, or to request accommodation of a disability to participate in any of the events, email

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