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STAPLER 8/9 Social Justice Training (Returners Only)

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1 STAPLER 8/9 Social Justice Training (Returners Only)

2 Hannah Lozon Coordinator of Social Justice Education, Residence Life

3 Be fully present and participate at your own comfort level – challenge by choice. Speak from personal experience: use “I” statements to share thoughts and feelings. You cannot speak for your group. Speak your truth with care. Listen respectfully, share air time, and encourage others to participate. Respect and maintain privacy. Take risks – lean into discomfort. If you notice discomfort, “sit in it” – resist the urge to fix things. Trust that dialogue will take us to deeper levels of understanding and acceptance. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. We will all make mistakes, facilitators included. Offer compassion for yourself and others…be lovingly critical. Others?

4  Microaggression: Subtle, verbal and nonverbal slights, insults, indignities, and denigrating messages directed toward an individual due to their group membership, often automatically and unconsciously.  Usually committed by well-intentioned folks who are unaware of the hidden messages being communicated.

5  Microaggressions in everyday life Microaggressions in everyday life Dr. Derald Wing Sue – Microaggressions are similar to carbon monoxide - “invisible, but potentially lethal” - continuous exposure to these type of interactions “can be a sort of death by a thousand cuts to the victim” Sue, (2010) Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation.

6  Microinsult: Often unconscious verbal, nonverbal, and environmental communications that subtly convey rudeness and insensitivity that demean a person's heritage or identity  Examples: asking a student of color which scholarship they received for admittance to college, joking that you cannot give female colleague constructive feedback or she’ll cry  Microassault: Conscious and intentional discriminatory actions on one’s identity  Examples: flying a confederate flag, denying child from dating someone of the same sex, using derogatory names  Microinvalidation: Communications that subtly exclude negate or nullify the thoughts, feelings or experiential reality of a person’s identity  Examples: color blindness, myth of meritocracy, denial of individual homophobic experience Taken from: Sue, Capodilupo, Torino, Bucceri, Holder, Nadal & Equilin, 2007



9  Potential feelings of guilt and shame  Defensiveness especially for those who think of self as “liberal” and “fair” engaged in social justice work  Distancing/Withdrawal  Denial/Projection  Even anger  Justification  Sadness  Others?


11 “No matter what other people do or say, they can't make us act against our will. We'd love to blame them for our outbursts or sadness. We're certain that if they would behave differently, we'd be different too. While it might be true that how someone behaves affects us, it doesn't have the power to take over our lives. How we react is still wholly up to us. A key element is learning the breadth of our personal power. We are in charge of who we will be and what we will do every minute of our lives. The statement ‘He made me do it’ is simply never true. Taking full responsibility for our reactions requires honesty and willingness. Initially, it may seem easier to blame others than to take full charge of ourselves. But we'll grow to love the empowerment that accompanies being responsible for all our actions, and we'll never want to trade that for our old lives.” - Author unknown

12 Any stimulus, that makes us, as members of social groups, feel diminished, offended, threatened, stereotyped, discounted, or attacked. Often results in an emotional reaction that may have some or all of the following characteristics:  unexpectedness, the person is surprised by the arousal of their feelings  strong intensity of feelings, the person experiences their emotions as overwhelming and disproportionate to the original stimulus  disorienting, the person is disoriented and distracted from the planned agenda: “stopped in their tracks”  feeling out of control and overwhelmed by the situation  feeling “de-skilled” and reacting less effectively  requiring extra effort to manage the situation effectively

13 © Kathy Obear (

14  Our own biases, prejudices, and assumptions  Current life issues and dynamics  fatigue  illness  crises  stressors  Cumulative impact of past experiences: “Pile-on Principle”  Unresolved or unhealed past issues, traumas, and “wounds:”  Does this person remind you of anyone?  Does this situation remind you of past traumas?

15 E.A.R.S.  Before you react and respond when triggered, lend your E.A.R.S.  Explore, inquire and ask questions  “help me understand more about…”  “tell me more about…”  Acknowledge their feelings  Restate what they said to check for accuracy  “Did I understand you correctly when you said…”  explore Solutions together B.A.R.  When triggered, raise the B.A.R.  Take a few seconds and Breathe  Oxygen will help calm you, and it gives you a chance to think  The silence can be a powerful indicator of how you feel  Acknowledge what they said/did  “I just want to make sure I am understanding your point of view…”  Calmly, carefully Respond  Understand that the other person has a different point of view  Feel empowered to share the impact of the trigger  Multiple truths Dr. Kathy Obear ( Dr. Maura Cullen (

16 1) What is your initial reaction to this situation? In what ways is your scenario a microaggression, if at all? 2) Brainstorm as a group how each person in the scenario could effectively respond using the E.A.R.S and/or B.A.R. model. 3) How might you take this incident and provide a “teachable moment” for all involved? 4) What are some resources that could provide support in this scenario? How might you solicit this support?

17 STAPLER 8/9 Social Justice Training (Returners Only)

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