Exploring Implicit Bias in Hawaii

The University of Hawaii Law Review held a symposium at the William S. Richardson School of Law on Friday, January 16, 2015 on Exploring Implicit Bias in Hawaii. HUD Lead Civil Rights Analyst, Jelani Madaraka had a chance to serve on the Housing and Finance panel for discussion and share a few examples of how implicit bias can and does become an issue of discrimination in housing.

[Photo 1: Jelani Madaraka, Andrea Freeman and Rachel Godsil seated at table.]
Jelani Madaraka, Andrea Freeman and Rachel Godsil seated at table

Implicit bias, which refers to stereotypes and associations that affect our actions and decisions in an unconscious or subconscious manner, is something we do not generally think of as problematic here in Hawaii with the dynamic mixture of cultures. But as Mr. Madaraka shared with the group, it happens often.

[Photo 2: Jelani Madaraka standing with microphone in hand]
Jelani Madaraka standing with microphone in hand

During his presentation, Jelani mentioned several cases he has worked on and how implicit bias tied into housing discrimination.

One such example was a discrimination case a where an applicant to nonprofit organization, receiving federal dollars to offer foreclosure protection counseling, was denied. The applicant believed he was discriminated against by the nonprofit organization based on his race and his disability. After an investigation, there was insufficient evidence supporting complaint to proceed with the claim.

For more information on the symposium as well as video coverage of the event, please visit the Hawaii Law Review (http://www.hawaiilawreview.com/symposium.html).

If you have any additional questions regarding Fair Housing or discrimination, contact Jelani Madaraka (jelani.m.madaraka@hud.gov) at (808) 457-4677.


Content Archived: January 3, 2017