Racial Stereotypes

A. Detailed Project Logistics: Think about all the little things that are needed to do to get the project up and running:  

  1. What are the core or essential elements of the project? 

By the end of this project, our team hopes to accomplish awareness of and reduction in racial stereotyping in the Lynn University community. We are hoping to use our social media platforms to educate our community about a problem that has gotten out of hand. Police brutality and violence is at an all time high in this country, and when these “accidents” occur, it is mainly African American people getting hurt or killed (Edwards, Lee, & Esposito, 2019). In the end, this is a systemic problem, deeply rooted in our society and institutions, that cannot be solved by four college students from Florida, but in recognizing the problem and researching and planning a project around it, we hope to do our small part in rectifying the problem.

The main purpose of this project is to bring awareness of racial stereotyping and its effects to the Lynn University community. Being a fairly liberal school, most of the student body would probably not identify themselves as believing or carrying around racial stereotypes in their daily lives, but we suspect that they might be surprised by the lived experience of those on our campus who must deal with racial stereotyping on a daily basis. We will test this hypothesis through creating polls and surveys to determine how the majority of campus feels about the issue and believes it is an area of growth for our institution. The first survey will be a random cross-section of students/staff from Lynn. We will also make a separate survey with follow-up interviews of students, teachers, and staff of color on campus to see how those most affected view stereotyping at Lynn, and help identify any other areas we should research. Our intention is then to share these results through social media, to help guide the conversation on campus. 

To accomplish these surveys, we should probably talk to the African and Hispanic Students Unions, and the Chinese Student Association to judge interest in the project and find ways to engage those students who are most often stereotyped. 

Beyond merely releasing the results of the surveys, to make a real impact, we would like to share the stories and experiences of a cross-section of the people of color on our campus. This would mean not only finding volunteers willing to share their accounts, but also finding adequate recording equipment and microphones, and possibly a set of some sort to provide continuity as we share individual stories week by week.

  • How would the team succeed at accomplishing these? Be specific. 

The first round of surveys and polls will be directed at Lynn University students, teachers and other staff of all races, a true random sampling. This is in order to get unbiased responses about how people really view racial stereotyping on campus. The questions being asked in the general survey will determine if the person believes racial stereotyping is an issue on campus. The survey will also ask if they have seen or experienced racial stereotyping at Lynn University, and how often. It will also ask them about their feelings about racial profiling in police work, and their feelings on the Black Lives Matter movement, with follow-up questions about whether they would be willing to attend events or follow social media accounts about this subject. This will allow us to judge if the majority of the community believes there is a racial stereotyping problem on campus, and allow us to compare the results to the more targeted second survey. This first survey will be performed on Lynn campus by the group members over a few weeks, with each of us committing to completing two hundred surveys to reach a significant sample size.

The second survey will be targeted to only be answered by individuals of color. The purpose of this is to ask people who are at more of a risk to be stereotyped if it happens to them on a day-to-day basis. Some of the questions will remain the same from the first survey, but this one will also get more specific, and ask if they’d be willing to share their stories. Additionally, the second survey will ask for further insights into our initiative, whether it is needed or if there exist better avenues to tackle this issue. It will help us gauge the willingness of these community members to be involved in the project and share their experiences with the wider community. This will allow us to determine the true scope of the problem and potentially give us ideas to stop it, as well as acquiring volunteers to share their stories on social media. These surveys will also be accomplished by our group members, in conjunction with any volunteers we might find from interested student groups, again over a period of several weeks.

For the social media campaign, we would need to not only open Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube accounts, but create an interest in them by publicizing the effort on campus and through our personal social media accounts. Sharing the stories of our community members’ experiences with racial stereotypes at Lynn will need to be planned, interviewed and filmed in an engaging way to truly start a conversation and create change. 

  • Why would these steps be the appropriate ones? Justify reasoning with research. 

We believe that these steps are appropriate because this method of pointing out stereotypes and making people aware of them has been shown to be effective in changing behavior. Our hope is that the results of the first survey prove to show that most of Lynn’s student body doesn’t really believe that racial stereotypes persist on Lynn’s campus. The results of the second survey, we hypothesize will show that people of color in the Lynn community disagree with that assessment. This will allow us to highlight the lack of awareness the greater community has for their unconscious bias, and lead to a change in behavior.

Multiple studies have shown that the simple fact of making people aware of their unconscious stereotyping goes a long way to changing their behavior. Both college students and police who were involved in studies playing computer games where they had to shoot armed suspects but refrain from shooting unarmed bystanders were more likely to shoot unarmed black bystanders and not shoot armed white suspects before being trained by the game to pay more attention to weapons than skin color (Ashby Plant, 2005) and (Correll, 2007). A different study showed that women who are exposed to female leaders exhibit fewer automatic stereotypes about women as a group (Seeing is Believing, 2004). Lastly, a 2007 study on racial bias among professional basketball referees saw the bias basically disappear after sustained media coverage. (Pope, 2014)

  • How does the action plan help mitigate and/or eliminate the social issue? 

The action plan should help mitigate the problem because so many studies have shown that awareness of one’s stereotypes goes a long way toward changing behavior. Our action plan is based around taking real life experiences from students and faculty on campus. We plan on using various social media outlets to share the results of the survey’s and the interviews. This will help people around campus realize how much racial stereotyping really goes on under the radar and hopefully lead to real change. 

  • This section should include an adjusted budget, explaining if and why the proposed budget has changed. These changes should be justified with research. 

The proposed budget for this plan can come out of our own pocket. Most of the cost of this endeavor is not monetary, but rather measured in man-hours required for designing surveys, collecting and organizing data, and creating content for our social media accounts. As we are students, and this project is arguably our “job,” we should not require much of a budget to do surveys, spread awareness and record interviews. Modern cell phones can record high definition videos, and our group already has a wireless microphone that can be used for the interviews. No real budget is planned at this time. 

B. The chosen steps relate to the social impact pillar which reflects on public policies and our sustainable development goal of reduced inequality. By reaching out to each of these people and allowing them to have their say in pointing out stereotypes, it helps lessen discrimination and stereotyping. Hearing the people’s stories about how the social impact pillar that is related to supporting social issues in our well being, environment, education, and workplace will hopefully spread the word on how they were affected by stereotyping and bring to light any specific instances that need to be addressed. This can also perfect public policies when their voices are heard and people begin making a difference. Through the steps of our surveys and interviews that we will perform, these stories can be shared and changes can be initiated.

C.

 Our team decided we want to conduct a survey analysis around Lynn University to retrieve the most accurate and great data. First, we created a survey for about 100 Lynn’s students and faculty. The surveys were handed out to all races and ages. With these ideas we developed we then handed out surveys to 100 different people and asked them questions on racial stereotypes. The questions on the survey included: Have you ever used a racial stereotype? Would you be a part of an organization to help and end the use of stereotypes? 24 people said they have used racial stereotypes while the 76 said they didn’t. 89 people said they would be a part of an organization to help end stereotyping the other 11 were not going too. With this I believe the 11 people who weren’t going to be a part of the organization probably used stereotypes in the past or are currently. By the end of this project, our team hopes to accomplish awareness and reduction in racial stereotyping. We are hoping to use our social media platforms to educate our community about a problem that has gotten out of hand. Our budget for this will be under 1000 dollars to help and start up the social media account and awareness website to gain attention to everyone not just the Lynn University community. We want to start off small like seeing opinions from just the Lynn community then moving on to other universitas around Lynn and in Florida. Our goal is to try and get attention from all of the United States mostly in universities not the general public.

D.

The project involves a proposal to do an intensive research on racial stereotypes within the university campus and thereafter present viable recommendations and actionable plans to create awareness about racial stereotyping in campus. The first phase of the project involved collecting data to determine the prevalence of the stereotyping problem within our school community. The survey used quantitative methodology where most people indicated not to have used stereotypes in the past while 24 indicated to have. This proposal had identified actionable plans to educate the community on ending racial stereotyping in the university campus and the surrounding community.

Racial stereotyping is a generalized belief about a particular group. Here in the university campus, the vice is practiced by people from all racial categories either intentionally or unconsciously. During the survey, it was found that 24 people from the sample of 100 had used stereotyping in the past while 76 had not used stereotyping while speaking, talking or describing their peers. Of the 100 people, 89 expressed interest in being part of an organization that would help to end racial stereotyping while 11 indicated that they would not want to. The 11 people who expressed no interest in being part of an organization or an initiative to end racial stereotyping were presumed to be perpetual stereotypes, either in the past or current and were not willing to stop. 

From the results, it was found that there is a need to implement the recommendations herewith as actionable plans to end stereotyping. The plan will include running a social media campaign to create an awareness on racial stereotyping. The awareness campaign will give people an opportunity to speak about the dangers of stereotyping and how I can be ended. People who have experienced the worst in racial stereotyping will also be given an opportunity to give their experiences. The campaign will also have an expert social science, a sociology expert, to give the scientific view on racial stereotyping and why it should not be discouraged in the university campus and its environs. The awareness campaign shall have a running theme. There will be selected examples of who have experienced the worst form of racial stereotyping and they too shall give experiences on racial stereotyping. The testimonials of those people who have experienced racial stereotyping shall be recorded with a smartphone, edited and then posted on social media. 

The social media campaign is dubbed #EndRacialStereos and will be run on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tiktok for ten days. The hashtag will allow people to follow the trend and give their experiences. The campaign will engage a few classmates and friends who will be the influencers. Classmates with social media accounts that have a high number of followers have been identified and will help to create a trend. Under the hashtags, people will be encouraged to type or video-record themselves giving their experiences of racial stereotyping. Testimonials of racial stereotyping that had been identified will also be posted, one a day.