Science and Solutions Series

Created by diversity/inclusion expert and cultural anthropologist, Dr. Michael Baran, this modular on-line interactive series draws on social science to explain and then offer concrete solutions to key issues: implicit bias, microaggressions, cultural competence, race, identity, structural inequalities, and courageous conversations. Dr. Baran guides employees through the module and uses pictures and quotes from real people to illustrate main points. Each module also comes with a workshop facilitation guide to assist organizations in their efforts to create more understanding and inclusion in the workplace.

Contact us for more information.

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(Don’t) Guess My Race

An interactive web-based program that makes learning about race and diversity fun, educational and meaningful to everyday life while also effectively reducing bias and sparking courageous conversations. It has been played by hundreds of thousands of people in businesses and schools throughout the country.

To learn more about corporate use of this program, please visit:

To learn more about educational use of this program, please visit:

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Who Am I? Race Awareness Game

A fun two-player guessing game designed to stimulate a productive dialogue between adults/educators and children regarding the complex and sensitive issues of race and ethnicity. Named as one of the top 100 educational products by Common Sense Media.

It is currently available in the Apple iTunes store:



Interactive Diversity Solutions is passionate about bringing a social science perspective to reducing bias and creating more inclusive spaces to work and to learn. We work with your organization to find the right combination of services for your specific needs. Services offered include:

Speaker Services: Dr. Baran, cultural anthropologist and President of IDS, has spoken on race and diversity issues throughout the country and the world. He has presented to representatives from corporations (such as Boeing, Alaska Air, Costco, and Starbucks), schools (ranging from Harvard University to high schools and middle schools) and foundations/non-profits (such as MacArthur Foundation, National Human Services Assembly and Transform Justice). Recent speaking topics include: Reducing Implicit Bias Through Social Science, Flipping the Classroom on Race and Diversity, Multiple and Complex Identities in Times of Disruptive Change, Creating Inclusive Spaces: New Ways to Think and Talk about Race and Diversity.

Workshops: In addition to speaking services, experienced facilitator Dr. Baran can lead smaller group discussions. These sessions will be highly interactive and designed to spark conversation, bring people together and increase inclusion in both work and learning environments. Workshop topics can be tailored to provide the learning experience your organization is seeking. Workshops can be given to everyone in an organization or for specific groups such as employee resource groups, leadership teams, diversity officers, recruiters, human resources, etc.

Train-the-Trainer: If an organization prefers to facilitate its own workshops internally, Dr. Baran can conduct train-the-trainer workshops, working specifically with the diversity team, the HR leadership and/or the learning and development team to provide interactive activities and lessons from the social sciences that can be applied to the workplace to reduce bias and increase inclusion.

Interactive Digital eLearning Program: (Don’t) Guess My Race covers key topics for inclusive and respectful workplaces in an engaging, educational way. The program can be used as a self-contained compliance course for new and existing employees or it can be used to complement any of the other services described, as pre-work and/or follow-up for in-person learning experiences.

Select Clients, Partners and Audiences

Davis miles
Des moines
Kg diversity
Mit logo
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Learners group
Wells fargo
Public media
Port of seattle


In all my years I have yet to see a tool with as much potential to change the way people think about diversity and which also allows people to have those courageous conversations that need to happen.

What works so well about the (Don’t) Guess My Race diversity program is that it’s very easy for employees to use—it’s fun and interesting, done on their own time and pace. But what really excites me, as opposed to other diversity initiatives, is that this one actually has the potential to impact how employees view and talk about race and diversity issues. It opens up great conversations and raises issues around implicit bias. (Don’t) Guess My Race is really going to make a difference to any company looking to not just avoid problems around diversity (though it will accomplish this as well), but to strive towards an inclusive and diverse company culture.

The game was incredibly effective at unsettling students’ understandings of race and pushing them to think more deeply at how racialization works. It’s engaging and effective.

(Don’t) Guess My Race made it much easier to talk about race as a reality and social construct, a dichotomy which is difficult for students to grasp. I was very impressed!


I was surprised by how delighted my children were with the apps, and with the freedom to ask questions that they conferred. We’ve had plenty of direct conversations since, and unfortunately, current events constantly provide us with the opportunity to have more.

I had my doubts about this. More than doubts. Who'd believe that "there's an app for that" could be anything more than a joke in the context of talking to kids about race? When we put the iPhone down, I expected a shrug from my kid — the kind of reaction I get when I tell him something he already knows or wants to pretend he does or just isn't really interested in. Instead, I got "I loved that!" The look on his face, the tone of his voice — he reacted as though I'd opened up something that explained the mysteries of the world, and maybe I did.

After years trying to get Americans to wrestle with a subject that makes most of us cringe, Baran hit on a strategy trusted by parents everywhere to get kids to eat vegetables and brush their teeth: He turned race into a game…By combining gaming, art, the subjects’ own poignant words and bite-size nuggets of anthropological insight into how race developed — or rather, how we developed it — Baran is turning a conversation stopper into a conversation starter.

Before I shared, of course, I had to give the app a good test run myself. The verdict? I have to admit, it's all types of fun. The game is enjoyable and can serve a higher purpose by drawing people into discussions about race. Now if that’s not fun, I don’t know what is.




Michael Baran is a cultural anthropologist with more than twenty years experience conducting and organizing ethnographic research for social change on a variety of issues, including race and identity, racial disparities in education, violence against children, healthy housing, environmental health, human services, criminal justice reform, immigration reform, climate change, and early childhood development. Dr. Baran has conducted research domestically and internationally, most extensively in Brazil, Guatemala, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Canada and Haiti.

He currently consults for businesses, schools and non-profits on issues related to diversity and inclusion, often incorporating the digital tools developed at Interactive Diversity Solutions as part of a blended approach. In this capacity, he has presented on diversity and inclusion issues to representatives from companies such as Starbucks, Boeing, Nordstrom and Costco. He has been quoted or featured in numerous articles on race in the media from sources such as the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Slate, Wired Magazine, CNN, CBS Evening News with Katie Couric and others.

In addition to his IDS work, he has taught courses on race and identity, Latin America, child development, expository writing and research methodology at Harvard University and the University of Michigan. He has worked as Associate Director at the FrameWorks Institute and currently works as a Principal Researcher at the American Institutes of Research. In that capacity, he manages the community-based research on a USAID-funded project aimed to leverage deep foundational research to better inform interventions and communications to reduce violence against children in Haiti. In this project and others, Baran builds capacity with teams of local researchers to conduct culturally relevant research and to support the long-term sustainability of multi-year, multi-method projects with previous funders including the MacArthur Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Harvard Center on the Developing Child, UNICEF and the Bernard van Leer Foundation.

Dr. Baran received his B.A. from Emory University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology with a certificate in ‘Culture and Cognition’ from the University of Michigan. He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and is learning Haitian Creole.



Michael Handelman has been creating educational interactive multi-media for the past 15 years. He has produced over 100 products (apps, software titles, toys, video game platforms, MMOs) with combined sales of over 40 million units. Many of these products have won awards such as the Educational Toy of the Year, Parents' Choice Gold Seal and Common Sense Media’s top 100 educational programs. Handelman has led efforts to design new approaches to teaching phonics, math and social emotional curriculum to young children. He has developed innovative interactive play patterns, several of which are patented. Handelman also has created game design templates that led to cost and budget reductions of over 35%, as well as standards and guidelines for a variety of educational software platforms. Recognized as a leader in the field, he has presented at several conferences including the Austin Game Developer’s Conference.

In addition to his work at IDS, Handelman currently consults and contracts with leading educational and game publishers such as Hasbro, Mattel, Houghton Mifflin and LeapFrog. He also advices companies, such as PBS Kids, around their childrens’ digital strategy and best practices for designing educational experiences. Handelman has previously worked as an interactive producer for LeapFrog, and Director of Content and Co-Founder of an educational games start-up company.

Handelman received his B.A. from Emory University and his M.A. in psychology from Alliant University.