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Diversity and Microagressions: Strategies for Making a Difference: Strategies for Making a Difference

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

Strategies for Making a Difference

What I can control:

1) My response

As a Leader

What I can influence:


  1. Identify: local issues; short term and long term goals by assessing the health of the work environment. Using the results identify low hanging fruit, look at issues as challenges to overcome not as threats.

  2. Develop a strategy with short and long term goal. Remember changes takes time! (Methods may include: SWOT analysis, facilitated forums, and strategic planning with an external facilitator.)

  3. Use activities and case studies as tools to address difficult topics before they become a problem (when possible).
  4. Have regular diversity training at least three times a year, this allows you to address multiple topics and be proactive instead of reactive.

As an Individual

What I can do:


  1. Identify: issues that matter to me and determine my comfort level with addressing them.

  2. Evaluate: the pros and cons to addressing the issues that matter to me, including personal and professional risks and opportunities.

  3. Develop: a strategy to respectfully inform others about the impact of their words and actions.

  4. Acknowledge: the other person's perspective while educating them about my own.
  5. Assume: good intentions. Most people do not purposely commit microaggressions.
  6. Remember: change takes time and persistence. Every positive change, even small ones, is one step closer to my goal.
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