This SGL can be submitted to your employee training record.
1. What it is
Understanding how microaggressions impact individuals, workplaces, and classrooms is essential for fostering a respectful and inclusive environment.
Microaggressions are the everyday verbal, non-verbal exchanges whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership (e.g., race/ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion). Sue, Derald Wing, Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Race, Gender and Sexual Orientation, Wiley & Sons, 2010.
What you will learn from this module:
- How to define and describe microaggressions
- Understand how microaggressions impact individuals, work and class environments
- Learn strategies for responding to and intervening microaggressions
2. What I know
How would you describe what a microaggression looks like, feels like, sounds like?
- Take a moment to think about your response.
Now, take a look at how microaggressions can show up in our actions and words at work, in the classroom, and overall in everyday life.
- Examples of Workplace Microaggressions
- Examples of Classroom Microaggressions
- Examples of Everyday Life Microaggressions, MTV series “Look Different” (1-minute segments)
Take a moment to think about those examples. Have you been impacted by any of those microaggression examples? Have you ever done or said any of those examples? What surprised you from those examples?
Intent and impact can have different meanings as shown in those examples.
- How would you describe the difference between intent and impact?
- What impact do microaggressions have on individuals, the workplace and classrooms? Read this handout to learn more: Recognizing Microaggressions and the Messages They Send - download PDF.
3. How I can improve
There are strategies you can use right away to prevent, interrupt, and address microaggressions in your everyday life.
If you have other strategies that have worked for you, add them to your print-outs below.
- Use strategies from this handout: Interrupting Microaggressions - download PDF.
- Read this article for strategies to address microaggressions in an online learning environment during a pandemic.
What to avoid doing if you are in a leadership position (instructor, manager)
- Taking a passive approach and letting the class direct the discussion.
- Disengaging from the conversation by accepting superficial responses or dismissing the topic.
- Responding with hostility.
- Looking to marginalized students/instructors to be experts on issues related to their identity group.
- Giving full attention to the person who said the microaggression while ignoring the target(s) of the microaggression.
- Focusing on (or allowing a focus on) debates about:
- The intent of the micro-aggressor
- What each person said or did
- Who’s right or wrong
4. What I have learned
Take a moment to reflect on what you learned in this course by answering these questions:
- How would you define and describe microaggressions?
- In what ways do microaggressions impact individuals, work and class environments?
- What are 2-4 strategies for responding to and intervening microaggressions?
5. Course Evaluation
Thank you for completing this module. Please click on the link below to complete the module evaluation. Your feedback will help guide future planning and improvements. We greatly appreciate your input.
6. Training Completion Form
If you are a current UMass employee, please submit the Training Completion Form only after you complete the Self-Guided Learning Module selected.
By submitting this form, you confirm that you have completed that Self-Guided Learning Module. We will then be able to record your successful completion in your University learning and development transcript.