Dr. Ruby Mendenhall hosts colloquium on racial microaggressions

by Danny Meza, Diversity & Outreach Peer
Tuesday, November 29, 2016 12:21 PM

Dr. Ruby Mendenhall, Associate Professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, will host a colloquium, “Racial Microaggressions in Higher Education: Doing the Difficult Work of Building a Diverse and Inclusive Community” on December 2, from 3-4:30 p.m. in Buchanan Hall, Room 1920.

Dr. Mendenhall, who holds joint appointments in Sociology, African-American Studies, Urban and Regional Planning, and Social Work, will lead a discussion on the experiences of racial microaggressions on a predominately White campus for students of color. There is growing concern on college campuses with the impact on a sense of belonging and academic performance that exposure to microaggressions might be having on students of color.

Microaggressions are defined by psychologist Dr. Derald Sue as informal, everyday social exchanges that send subtle messages of inferiority and denigration to people from marginalized backgrounds. Psychologists and psychiatrists have published numerous studies on the negative mental health consequences associated with the experience of encountering microaggressions.

The colloquium will offer students specific techniques to handle instances of microaggressions, as well as strategies for faculty and staff to help cultivate a more inclusive and safe campus environment. Attendees will work through several scenarios to prepare for varying types of microaggressions that may be present on campuses.

UCSB’s Departments of Communication, Black Studies, and Student Affairs are co-sponsoring this event.