Unpacking and Transforming Your Biases For A Better Community
The success of the United States is unique in that we are a country made of different facets of the human race, from places all over the world. With wide use of the Internet, we are now able to connect with more people locally and globally, from backgrounds and cultures we might not encounter regularly in every-day life. Despite the diversity, we all still carry implicit biases towards those who are different from us for a variety of reasons.
Although we are more connected than ever, I believe we still exist in merely tolerating each other. My big idea begins in questioning and dismantling our implicit biases in order to move toward a place where we accept and celebrate our differences for common goals and more cohesive, understanding communities. I will use scientific research findings, doctrine from various religious/ spiritual groups and personal experience in community work against injustice through education to explain how our implicit biases work, what divisions they have caused personally and on a broader scale, and offer solutions – from every day self-observations and engagement to community work to education.
Denise Hernández was born and raised in the Westside of San Antonio to a single mother and grandmother, who instilled in her the love of reading. She wanted to be a lawyer and “car fixer” when she was 8. She graduated from Business Careers High School, the magnet attached to Holmes High School before attending Baylor University in Waco, TX.
Following encounters of explicit racism for the first time, she began to self-examine her place in society. She was selected as a “Rising Star in Their 20’s” by MySA.com in 2015. Hernández is a co-founder La Con Safos Beca, a scholarship for Chicanx/Brown/undocumented students and is the founder of Maestranza, which means “the people who are around you helping.” Maestranza serves to be engaged in the community through education, outreach and activism.
She is a Big Sister in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, and an advocate against injustice, particularly related to police brutality, the school-to-prison pipeline and education systems. Hernández hopes to help bring ethnic studies as an available subject to all public schools. She still wants to be a Civil Rights lawyer.