NASA Spends $73,500 On 'Unconscious Bias' Training

Alissa Lopez | July 12, 2016
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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration will be adding a new program to its ‘Diversity Dialogue Project’ in order to teach their astronauts how to “use their privilege wisely.”

What I don’t get is why there's a ‘Diversity Dialogue Project’ to begin with. I think people are smart enough to know that their coworkers may have different backgrounds.

NASA hired a contractor, The Ivy Planning Group LLC, to host four scheduled dialogue sessions, each four hours long, of 13-17 people at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland and the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The cost of discussing “assigned diversity and inclusion topics” is estimated to be $73,500, but could end up costing up to $151,900.

The discussions will not only focus on unconscious biases, but also “micro messages and inequities, race, gender, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, religion… [and] diversity of thought.”

NASA's move comes shortly after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services rewarded the University of Wisconsin-Madison over $700,000 to put their science professors through bias training. 

Why does it cost so much money to make people talk to each other? Why do they even have to have these discussions? Were there any legitimate grounds for NASA to implement this brainwashing program?

According to the official downloadable project documents, its goals are to “create change at Goddard through individual participant shift in thinking, attitudes and behavior to promote greater respect and inclusion in the workplace," and to "Gain awareness of… the potential impact of our behaviors and (unconscious) biases in the workplace.”

And just to top it off, the homepage of The Ivy Planning Group LLC states, “Diversity has to be ingrained in every facet of the organization.”  

If you’re interested, the company also sells ‘Managing Microtriggers Tool Kits' for $1,199. It’s sold more than 60,000 copies.

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