Coffee Hour: Microaggression Training
October 14, 2022
In September, the E&I Committee’s coffee hour was replaced by a training on microaggressions. Microaggressions are indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group. During the training, we learned about the history of the term “microaggression” and how it has evolved to the present day. Microaggressions can come up in conversations about people’s backgrounds, the pronunciation of their names, or intruding on someone’s personal space. It is important that these interactions are defined and understood.
As part of the training, we broke out into small groups to discuss our past experiences with microaggressions. Folks discussed instances where their names were mixed up, identities questioned, and the internal struggle they felt trying to say the right thing. Ultimately, we all learned that anyone can unintentionally say something that makes another person uncomfortable. We walked away from this training recognizing these instances from either end of a microaggression and reflecting on lessons we can draw from them. Simply, we learned it’s important that we all be mindful of what we say and how we say it.