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What are Microaggressions?
Microaggressions: the everyday, subtle, intentional — and oftentimes unintentional — interactions or behaviors that communicate some sort of bias toward historically marginalized groups (Kevin Nadal, John Jay College of Criminal Justice)
These hidden messages may invalidate the group identity or experiential reality of target persons, demean them on a personal or group level, communicate they are lesser human beings, suggest they do not belong with the majority group, threaten and intimidate, or relegate them to inferior status and treatment (Derald Wing Sue).
Three Forms of Microaggressions
Of Note: While this image makes use of the term “color-blindness,” I would like to point out that this is an instance of ableism being used. The use of blindness in this case comes with the implication of the inability to do the right thing. Using an actual disability state to describe a negative situation is implying that a disability is a negative experience. This allows stigma to remain and fester, ultimately ensuring that people with disabilities, specifically the blind community, are looked down upon.
Source: Sue, D. W., at al. (2007). Racial microaggressions in everyday life: Implications for clinical practice. American Psychologist, 62(4), 271-286.
Microaggression Resources: Videos
Microaggression Resources: Articles
Microaggression Resources: Podcasts
Microaggressions Are A Big Deal: How To Talk Them Out And When To Walk Away
Kevin Nadal, a professor of psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, has spent years researching and writing books on the effects of microaggressions. The "micro" in microaggression doesn't mean that these acts can't have big, life-changing impacts. They can, which is all the more reason to address them when you see them.
Microaggressions and Where They Happen
This episode series is a place for calling folks in and calling them out. Each installment of this podcast will feature one contextualized story of a microaggression and break it all the way down. The goal? To examine the ways that history, intent, bias, and stereotypes can affect the people we interact with, talk to, and even love everyday.
Racial Microaggressions and Political Correctness
Dr. Derald Wing Sue and Dr. Miguel E. Gallardo discuss racial microaggressions, why they matter today, and dispute the opinion that talking about micro and macro aggressions stifles our capacity to have courageous conversations on race and racism.
Microaggression Resources: Websites
Ever wondered about your own biases? Check out the implicit bias tests from Project Implicit.
Microaggressions: Power, Privilege, and Everyday Life
This blog seeks to provide a visual representation of the everyday of “microaggressions.” It is about showing how these comments create and enforce uncomfortable, violent and unsafe realities onto peoples’ workplace, home, school, childhood/adolescence/adulthood, and public transportation/space environments.
What is Oppression?
Oppression: the combination of prejudice and institutional power which creates a system that discriminates against some groups (often called "target groups") and benefits other groups (often called "dominant groups"). These systems enable dominant groups to exert control over target groups by limiting their rights, freedom, and access to basic resources such as health care, education, employment, and housing (Vanderbilt).
Oppression = prejudice + power
Oppression is more than prejudicial thoughts and actions of individuals. Oppression is institutionalized power that is historically formed and perpetuated over time. Through the use of that institutionalized power, it allows certain groups of people or certain identities to assume a dominant position over other groups and identities and this dominance is maintained and continued at institutional and cultural levels (Collins).
What is Anti-Oppression?
Anti-Oppression is the strategies, theories, actions and practices that actively challenge systems of oppression on an ongoing basis in one's daily life and in social justice/change work. Anti-oppression work seeks to recognize the oppression that exists in our society and attempts to mitigate its effects and eventually equalize the power imbalance in our communities. Oppression operates at different levels (from individual to institutional) and so anti-oppression must as well.
Though they go hand in hand, anti-oppression is not the same as diversity and inclusion. Diversity and inclusion have to do with the acknowledgment, valuing, and celebration of difference, whereas anti-oppression challenges the systemic biases that devalue and marginalize difference. Diversity and inclusion and anti-oppression are two sides of the same coin - one doesn't work without the other - but they are not interchangeable (Collins).
Anti-Oppression Resources: Books
Algorithms of Oppression by
Publication Date: 2018-02-20
Safiya Umoja Noble challenges the idea that search engines like Google offer an equal playing field for all forms of ideas, identities, and activities. Through an analysis of textual and media searches as well as extensive research on paid online advertising, Noble exposes a culture of racism and sexism in the way discoverability is created online. An original, surprising and, at times, disturbing account of bias on the internet, Algorithms of Oppression contributes to our understanding of how racism is created, maintained, and disseminated in the 21st century.
Pedagogy of the Oppressed by
Publication Date: 2000-09-01
First published in Portuguese in 1968, Pedagogy of the Oppressed was translated and published in English in 1970. The methodology of the late Paulo Freire has helped to empower countless impoverished and illiterate people throughout the world. Freire's work has taken on especial urgency in the United States and Western Europe, where the creation of a permanent underclass among the underprivileged and minorities in cities and urban centers is increasingly accepted as the norm.
Freedom Is a Constant Struggle by
Publication Date: 2016-02-09
In these newly collected essays, interviews, and speeches, world-renowned activist and scholar Angela Y. Davis illuminates the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression throughout history and around the world. Reflecting on the importance of black feminism, intersectionality, and prison abolitionism for today's struggles, Davis discusses the legacies of previous liberation struggles, from the Black Freedom Movement to the South African anti-Apartheid movement. She highlights connections and analyzes today's struggles against state terror, from Ferguson to Palestine.
When They Call You a Terrorist by
Publication Date: 2018-01-16
From one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement comes a poetic memoir and reflection on humanity. Leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have been called terrorists, a threat to America. But in truth, they are loving women whose life experiences have led them to seek justice for those victimized by the powerful. In this meaningful, empowering account of survival, strength, and resilience, Patrisse Cullors and asha bandele seek to change the culture that declares innocent black life expendable.
Anti-Oppression Resources: Articles
Anti-Oppression Resources: Videos