There’s actually research that shows mindfulness helps reduce implicit bias—not just around race or gender, but also around homelessness, age, etc. So, there’s some reason to believe that basic, simple awareness practices can help disrupt that automatic, biased way of thinking. This helps us more consciously choose how we engage with one another—whether we see ourselves as victims of racism or we’re people trying to minimize harm in the world by working with our privileged status in certain contexts.
The practices also help us victims of stereotype or bias repair our sense of woundedness and increase our sense of belonging and interconnectedness. The practices can teach us to manage our emotions if we’re getting triggered into feeling stress or vulnerability that naturally comes with a long history of lived experience dealing with bias.
They can also heal some of the trauma of living as a target of violence, micro-aggressions, or other forms of bias and help make us actually less likely to succumb to “stereotype threat”—the psychological stress caused by the perceived risk of confirming a negative stereotype about oneself in a given context when a related social identity characteristic is raised—which studies have shown can decrease the performance of, say, women taking a science exam in a classroom setting in which gender has been recently highlighted.