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Identifying and Preventing Microaggressions Session goals: (a) to define microaggressions (b) to discuss examples in identifying microaggressions (c) to.

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Presentation on theme: "Identifying and Preventing Microaggressions Session goals: (a) to define microaggressions (b) to discuss examples in identifying microaggressions (c) to."— Presentation transcript:

1 Identifying and Preventing Microaggressions Session goals: (a) to define microaggressions (b) to discuss examples in identifying microaggressions (c) to identify institutional practices (d) to explore preventive strategies 1 Facilitators: Drs. Nancy Ares and Dena Phillips Swanson

2 Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life Derald Wing Sue et al. (2007) 2

3 Microaggressions Brief, everyday exchanges that convey denigrating messages… –often unintentional and unconsciously delivered in the form of subtle snubs, dismissive looks, gestures and tones. –particularly salient in the context of relational dynamics and inherent in power dynamics which further complicate the impact. 3

4 Microaggression Dilemma Invisibility of Unintentional Bias –Race does not effect how you are treated or your opportunities for success The most accurate assessment of a bias statement is from those disempowered rather than from those that enjoy the privilege of position or power 4

5 Microaggression Dilemma Perceived Minimal Harm –Those not affected consider them minor and encourage those affected to not waste time or effort on addressing them The cumulative effects of microaggressions contribute to self-doubt, frustration, and isolation 5

6 A Framing for Diversity Considerations –Climate and intergroup relations –Access and success –Education –Institutional vitality Context –Local (academic program/department) –Global (university level; school level) 6

7 Critical Race Theory, Racial Micro-aggressions, and Campus Racial Climate: The Experiences of African American College Students Solórzano, Ceja, and Yosso (2000)

8 Subtle, Covert “…one must not look for the gross and obvious. The subtle, cumulative mini- assault is the substance of today’s racism” (Pierce, 1974, p. 516)

9 Linkages Racial stereotypes Cumulative racial micro-aggressions Campus racial climate Academic performance

10 Four Questions How do African American college students experience racial micro-aggressions? What impact do these racial micro- aggressions have on African American students: How do African American students respond to racial micro-aggressions How do racial micro-aggressions affect the collegiate racial climate?

11 Critical Race Theory Race and racism are endemic to US society, as is intersectionality of forms of subordination Centrality of non-dominant people and communities’ experiences Commitment to social justice Transdisciplinary perspective

12 Micro-Aggressions in Classrooms Feeling invisible Experiences omitted,distorted, stereotyped Faculty-student interactions: requiring retake of quiz –I was doing really well in the class…We took a first quiz…and I got like a 95…”We think you’ve cheated” …And I got a 98 on the exam Self-doubt –So you don’t feel like, “Well maybe it isnt me” ‘cause you second-guess yourself…”Maybe I’m stupid! Maybe I don’t understand what’s going on

13 Micro-Aggressions in Classrooms Segregation in in-class groups Personally diminished by White peers –Intense scrutiny leads to feeling drained Assumptions about admissions (affirmative action) –A couple of our class discussions were about…affirmative action, and [the White] students…could not fathom that we earned our way in here Assumptions about academic abilities –A lot of people don’t accept the fact that … I got a scholarship for academics. All my scholarships are in academics…not in sports

14 Micro-Aggressions Outside Classrooms Academic spaces (covert) –I was walking down the hallway…one of the teacher’s door was open…She’s like, “Oh, I should have locked the door. My purse is in there.” I was just, wow, maybe she should have kept that to herself –Last time we went to the library to study…it’s like…they’ve never seen Black people before in their lives, or they’ve never seen Black people study before

15 Micro-Aggressions Outside Classrooms Social spaces (overt) –With school events, it’s definitely racial. They [campus police] regulate and try to shut us down…make us leave through certain (back) doors –Playing football in a campus parking lot…all of a sudden there’s a total of four or five [police] cars all here for us who are not displaying any type of violence…we pleaded our case for at least a good 45 minutes..we had to leave

16 Effects of Micro-Aggressions Defensive stance –I have to be on my guard every time I go in to talk to a professor…an advisor…to anyone…are they really here to help me or to lead me down a path I don’t want? “Spokesperson pressure” –You’re going to get called on, just because they want a Black perspective and you’re the only one

17 Effects of Micro-Aggressions Tiring –I was naïve, but now I’m cynical…I had to fight every day through all the racism I felt…when you try and voice something to somebody, they don’t want to hear it….I’m tired of it Pushed to the point of exit –Got a B in physics before she came…took physics again…she did everything…went to the chancellor [who] asked whether or not she was on financial aid..she’s transferring to Howard

18 Counter-Spaces as Response Daily barrage of micro-aggressions in and outside of class Deficit notions of people of color challenged Source of support –I chose to live on the African American theme floor…if I don’t have the support then that can be very discouraging –I just feel more comfortable dealing with African Americans…look for the first African American face because…they’re going to be more sympathetic

19 Challenges to … College as equal, colorblind, race-neutral Ignoring, downplaying threats, assaults in the form of micro-aggressions Such incidents, experiences as innocuous The affect is cumulative


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