Bias Busters Faith-based Cultural Competence Guides: An Interfaith Publishing Alliance

Joe Grimm, College of Communication Arts and Sciences
InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit

Since 2013, Joe Grimm and students from MSU’s School of Journalism have worked with community partners to battle stereotypes, elevate understanding, and encourage conversations through a series of cultural competency guides titled, “Bias Busters.” The InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit (IFLC) has been a prominent leader in guiding the Bias Busters sub-series on religion as well as on racial and ethnic groups. The guides help student-authors learn about diversity, equity, and inclusion in Grimm’s journalism course, and are also a resourceful tool for businesses and organizations. IFLC leaders share their expertise with students by suggesting topics, reviewing drafts to ensure accuracy, and using the guides in their work to create community conversations. Student-authors have learned from individuals from varying religions and backgrounds including Muslim Americans, African Americans, American Jews, Hispanics and Latinos, transgender people, immigrants, and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

To date, more than 7,000 guides have been sold, with more than 500 people being credited in the guides as collaborators, including students and community members. The series has resulted in several community programs, teach-ins, corporate trainings, and a diversity guide for the National Education Writers Association.