L.A. County African American Employee Association hosts discussion on “Unlearning Prejudices”

Hill speaks to the audience on Unlearning Prejudices. (Courtesy Photo)

Aimed at building a more inclusive and bias-fee workforce, the Los Angeles County African American Employees Association (LACAAEA) hosted “Unlearning Prejudices,” a candid discussion between members of the county’s ethnic employee organizations.

The workshop included LACAAEA members, representatives of the Hispanic and Asian American Employee Associations, and L.A. city and county officials. The Unlearning Prejudices conversation was facilitated by author John Hill, most known for developing nationally recognized plans to ensure Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action within government organizations and the private industry.

LACAAEA President Dellora Ellis-Gant said the workshop was not scheduled in direct response to the recently leaked racially insensitive remarks by City of L.A. officials, but added the discussion is certainly long overdue. The association describes itself as a professional development organization serving the needs of African American employees of L.A. County. Its mission is to discourage bias with the elevation of learning about African American and other cultures through dialogue to address complex social issues that often divide communities.

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Hill served as the director of L.A. County’s Office of Affirmative Action Compliance, which he managed for the county’s 86,000 workforce, then the largest government agency in the nation.  He also served as chief of staff to former County Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke.

Hill poses with Members of LACAAEA, and the Hispanic and Asian-American Employee Associations. (Courtesy Photo)

Unlearning Prejudice is a program developed by Hill while employed by the County of Santa Clara that deals with issues of racism, sexism, and prejudice in the workforce. He emphasized that while many were shocked by the explosive comments made by the three City Council members, he was not surprised.

Hill continues to facilitate Unlearning Prejudices at schools, college campuses, and a host of national forums and conventions.  The two-hour program sparked deep discussion about how cultural misunderstandings that result in discrimination in the workplace. Hill said his goal is to eliminate the preconceived notions about various cultures and or communities that often lead to staff being overlooked for promotions or other opportunities in the County.

For information on LACAAEA community events, visit www https://lacaaea.org/