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Racial Microaggressions in Higher Education: The Effects on Faculty and Students

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David Williams

on 10 May 2011

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Transcript of Racial Microaggressions in Higher Education: The Effects on Faculty and Students

Overview of Presentation Purpose Background and History Key Terms Microaggression and Theory Impact on Faculty Coping Strategies Conclusions Purpose Broaden the discussion about race and racism and expose the multifaceted effects of racial microaggressions in higher education
Mental well-being
Background and History The term “microaggression” — an unintended slight or social cue by a member of a dominant group that makes a member of a minority group uncomfortable — was first coined by African-American Harvard psychiatrist Chester Pierce in the 1970s when Pierce identified these day-to-day indignities as harmful to African-Americans.
Key Terms microassault: blatant racism, calling someone names or not allowing your son or daughter to date outside of your race

microinsults: unconscious acts or behaviors that demean a person’s racial or cultural heritage or imply that person is less in some way

microinvalidations: invalidate the life experience or the experiential reality of the individual Microaggression and Theory Critical Race Theory
1. Centrality and intersectionality of race and racism
2. Race and racism’s challenge to dominant ideology
3. Commitment to social justice
4. Experiential knowledge
5. Race through multiple lenses
Impact on Students Court cases
Washington vs. Davis, 1976
Daniel et al vs. State of California, 1999
Castaneda et al vs. University of California Regents, 1999 Impact on Faculty The cumulative effects of the subtle racism that Black faculty experience can lead to emotional pain, disillusionment, self-doubt, and self-blame” (as cited in Constantine, Smith, Redington, and Owens, 2008, p. 353) Impact on Faculty Themes
Alternating Feelings of Invisibility/ Marginalization and Hypervisibility
Questioning of Credentials
Lack of Mentoring
Expectation to serve in service-oriented roles with low perceived value Impact on Faculty Themes Continued:
Determining whether subtle discrimination is race or gender based
Self Consciousness Regarding Choice of Clothing, Hairstyle, Manner of Speech Impact on Students Research has shown that microaggressions have caused students to “drop a class, chang[e] their major, and even leav[e] the university to attend school elsewhere” (Solórzano et al., 2006, p. 870). Impact on Students Impact on Students Campus racial climate
Forms of microaggressions:
Spokesperson pressure/tokenism
Stereotype threat
Racial battle fatigue
Relation to persistence, graduation, and continuation to graduate school Coping Strategies Safeguarding Self
Affirming One’s Sense of Selfhood
Finding, Building, and Maintaining a Support Network
Attitudes and Internal Qualities
Should I stay or should I go…Deciding to leave or stay
Counterspaces Conclusions Racial microaggressions are a pervasive issue
Impacts faculty and students alike
Numerous coping mechanisms
Research and documentation is currently limited The End Racial Microaggressions in Higher Education: The Effects on Faculty and Students Kathy Bui
Nick Celedon
Paula Hentz
Ananee Korme
David S. Williams II
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