Penn State Harrisburg to host discussion on bias, microaggressions and privilege

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. – Penn State Harrisburg’s School of Behavioral Sciences and Education and the Diversity and Educational Equity Committee (DEEC) will host licensed psychologist Pamela Hays from 6 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 2 for a virtual presentation/workshop exploring implicit bias and microaggressions and their relationship to systems of privilege, as well as strategies for building multicultural competence.

Hays’ multicultural awareness workshops focus on the practical skills and information needed to build relationships and create success in a culturally diverse world. She emphasizes intersectional identities related to age and generational influences, dis/ability, religion and spirituality, ethnic and racial identity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, indigenous heritage, national origin and gender.

The event will feature individual and interactive exercises in which participants will explore how identity and privilege create unconscious biases resulting in microaggressions in the classroom and workplace. The workshop will also provide strategies for how to counter these biases and microaggressions with strategies that build and enhance relationships with diverse people.

Pamela Hays, who holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Hawaii, served as a National Institute of Mental Health Fellow at the University of Rochester Medical Center and worked as a core faculty member of Antioch University’s graduate psychology program for 11 years. She has worked on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska in community and tribal mental health, private practice, and served on the Board of the Alaska State Psychological Association. She is the author/editor of numerous articles and five books, including “Addressing Cultural Complexities in Practice.” For more information, visit