Columbia professor to present 'Microaggressions in Every Day Life'

You've probably snubbed or insulted someone unknowingly, perhaps within the last day. A Columbia University psychology professor has made these common occurrences his research interest, with a special focus on the effect that "microaggressions" have on groups marginalized by our society, namely people of color, women, LGBT populations, those with disabilities, religious minorities and others.

The University of Akron

Dr. Sue

Dr. Derald Wing Sue of Columbia's Teachers College will speak from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Sept. 18 in the Student Union ballroom. The talk, titled "Microaggressions in Everyday Life," is free and open to students, faculty and staff. Reserve your seat by Sept. 17.

"The most detrimental forms of microaggressions are usually delivered by well-intentioned individuals who are unaware that they have engaged in harmful conduct toward a socially devalued group," says Dr. Sue. "These everyday occurrences may, on the surface, appear quite harmless, trivial or described as 'small slights,' but research indicate they have a powerful impact upon the psychological well-being of marginalized groups, and affect their standard of living by creating inequities in health care, education, and employment." 

During this presentation, Sue will describe the manifestation, psychological dynamics, and impact of microaggressions on the well-being of marginalized groups, and will:

  • discuss their role in assailing the group identities of target groups,
  • reveal how they create disparities in education, employment, and health care,
  • identify common and group-specific forms of microaggressions, and
  • suggest strategies to overcome microaggressions on an individual, institutional, societal, and cultural level.

Sue's visit is being coordinated by the Office of Inclusion and Equity and the Multicultural Center.