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Local

Bus tour to raise bias awareness at Northern Illinois University

DeKalb Police Chief Gene Lowery (left) speaks before the inaugural Unity Walk in DeKalb in 2014. NIU leaders and students, city leaders, religious leaders, police officers, residents and more participated in the walk to promote uniting the DeKalb community. NIU Police Chief Tom Phillips (center) and Joe Mitchell, New Hope Missionary Baptist Church pastor (right) also gave remarks during the event.
DeKalb Police Chief Gene Lowery (left) speaks before the inaugural Unity Walk in DeKalb in 2014. NIU leaders and students, city leaders, religious leaders, police officers, residents and more participated in the walk to promote uniting the DeKalb community. NIU Police Chief Tom Phillips (center) and Joe Mitchell, New Hope Missionary Baptist Church pastor (right) also gave remarks during the event.

DeKALB – A bus will be on Northern Illinois University’s campus Monday to educate people on how to mind their proverbial blind spots – as they pertain to unconscious bias.

Hosted by NIU’s Office of Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Check Your Blind Spots mobile bus will be in the MLK Commons from noon to 5 p.m. Monday, and people are invited to walk through the bus, watch a series of two- to three-minute videos and take part in activities that pertain to real-world experiences.

NIU is one of 100 stops for the bus tour, and the theme of consciousness of bias will carry through to the Sept. 20 Unity Walk, which will start at 5 p.m. in the MLK Commons. The annual event will open with remarks at 5:15 p.m., followed by the walk at 5:45 p.m. and a roundtable discussion at 6:30 p.m. at the Holmes Student Center.

The walk is hosted by the university’s police department and the DeKalb Police Department, as well as community leaders – including representatives of Kishwaukee College and DeKalb High School. The walk will go from the MLK Commons up Normal Drive to Lucinda Avenue, through Greenbrier Road and back to the commons.

The event began five years ago after protests in Missouri over the death of Ferguson resident Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by a police officer, according to a news release from NIU.

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