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Richmond-based authors launch book on overcoming bias

tmiCollaboration is nothing new for Richmonders Tiffany Jana and Matthew Freeman. They founded TMI Consulting together and are married to each other. They work together, play together and practice what they preach. Now they have written a book together — Overcoming Bias: Building Authentic Relationships Across Differences.

Meet the authors at the Overcoming Bias launch party on Thursday, November 10, 6-7 pm, at Chop Suey Books, 2913 W. Cary St, Richmond. Jana and Freeman will discuss their book and autograph copies. This is free and open to the public. Please RSVP here – https://www.facebook.com/events/977192175742550/.

“We’re all biased – even nice people like you,” says Jana, who is not only CEO and president of TMI, but is finishing her doctoral dissertation. “It’s how we’re wired. As humans we have a tendency to prefer some things and people more than others. We use it without thinking when making rapid choices every day.”

“The problems can start when we encounter people who are different from us and our reaction is to mistrust or fear them — without actually knowing them at all,” says Freeman, TMI’s principal consultant. “That’s challenging when we want or need to build relationships with people from different walks of life. We push people away if we let our thoughtless biases rule us.”

“We wrote this book because in our work as management consultants, we are constantly faced with challenges that emerge as a result of unchecked bias,” says Jana. “There is no need to wait until employees start looking for work elsewhere or worse, until someone sues you or your company.”

“We also wrote it for people who want to understand unconscious bias better and take action to help themselves or other people around them,” says Freeman. “The book can provide you with skills you, your friends and family or your teams need to work together.”

Jana and Freeman offer solutions, tools and stories based on their careers as global diversity and inclusion strategy consultants. These include personal stories. As a biracial couple, they live and breathe diversity and are conspicuously joyous about the life they share.

“By forging honest relationships across differences such as race, religion, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, education, socioeconomic class and ability, we will ultimately break down social barriers and, in the process, greatly enrich our lives,” says Jana. “It’s important for both Matthew and me that you realize, you are not the problem, but the solution.”