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Diversity and Microagressions: Strategies for Making a Difference: Home

A handout for the 2015 ACRL workshop Defining the Nonverbal: Examining Microaggressions and Social Capital. Room B117-119, Oregon Convention Center, Friday March 27, 2015, 1:30pm-4:30pm. #ACRLInclusion

Workshop Abstract

Come develop a greater understanding of how nonverbal microaggressions expose hidden biases and inhibit colleagues from reaching their full potential. Microaggressions and social capital will be examined. Personal testimony of attendees will illustrate the effects of microaggressions. Experiential learning exercises, that can be transferred to home institutions, will be used to develop strategies for minimizing microaggressions. Lastly, attendees will create a plan for action that can be transferred to their home institutions.

Diversity and Microaggressions

Diversity encompasses different races, genders, ethnicities, beliefs, work styles, dress styles, hair styles, income levels, jobs, skill sets, and motivations, etc.

Microaggressions are defined by psychologist and scholar  Dr. Derald Wing Sue, (30+ years of experience), as “ brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities whether intentional or unintentional that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial insults towards people.”  

“MAs are reflections of world views that are filled with ethnocentric values, biases, assumptions, and stereotypes that strongly and culturally inculcated into our beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors."

Benefits of Diversity

Suggested: Ground Rules for Talking About Diversity

These ground rules are designed to help create a safe and open environment to talk about diversity.

Respect - Not everyone is going to be able to agree. We are not going to be able to agree on everything but we will treat each other with respect now and in the future.

Confidentiality - What is said in this space should not be shared outside this room without permission.

Keep an Open Mind - Realize that everyone has a unique experience based on their heritage and life experiences. Just because your experience was not the same as theirs does not make your experience more valid.

Sensitivity - Different topics are difficult for different people, it is important to respect others willingness to respond or not. If you do not wish to comment on a topic simply say "pass" and the discussion will move on to the next topic or person. Do not cause intentional harm toward someone else based on these discussions. When you pass on speaking reflect on why you do not feel comfortable about talking, is it something that can be changed in the future.

Self Assessment

Tools for Assessing the Health of a Work Environment

Use the tools below to assess the current health of your work environment and identify strengths and opportunities for growth. Use them again 2-3 years later to see the impact your efforts have made on your organization.

My Profile

Charlene Maxey-Harris's picture
Charlene Maxey-Harris
Associate Professor, Love Library, Rm. LS203

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries
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318 Love Library | 13th & R | Lincoln, NE | (402) 472-9568
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