During a special assembly last Thursday, outside experts spoke to students about microaggressions, an offensive comment or action directed at a minority or non dominant group that is often unintentional or unconsciously reinforces a stereotype.
Director of Diversity Jessica Christian invited YW Boston to campus, whose mission is “to end racial disparities, end gender disparities, and promote social cohesion.”
Christian feels passionately about promoting discussion about microaggressions, while fostering a safe and comfortable environment for students to express their feelings. “It’s my job to make sure they feel they are getting a voice,” she says.
Dashaun Simon ’17 enjoyed the presentation, and he feels that micrioaggressions is a real issue that needs addressing in the community. The speakers enlightened Simon about what qualifies as a microaggression, as well as how to approach them. “I feel there are microaggressions that easily go over the head of certain people,” Simon says. “If we have more awareness, we can have an even safer community.”
Dean of Students Paul Murray says that microaggressions are a “complex social construct,” and that he appreciated how the experts helped facilitate discussion on it. “We don’t need an assembly to teach students to be nice to each other,” he says. “We needed an assembly to understand the nuance of conversation and what our words mean.”