UMSL has developed an array of Professional Development opportunities to support community partners in their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. In spring 2020 the first of these was held. Titled “Recognizing and speaking up against unintentional racism (a.k.a. microaggressions)” the workshop focused on 1) learning to recognize microaggressions, 2) gaining an understanding of why microaggressions run counter to an inclusive and welcoming work environment, and 3) practicing strategies for effectively speaking up to counter microaggressions that they experience or witness.
The feedback from the session was very positive. One participant noted, “This was one of the most engaging and immediately applicable Zoom meetings I have had. Our Diversity Committee is wondering whether we can share any of the wisdom from today’s session…Thank You!” Another said, “I thought that the workshop was really great and informative, because a lot of people are unfamiliar with microaggressions and how the things they say can be hurtful even if it wasn’t their intent. I would definitely recommend everyone to attend this workshop, I think it is an important step in reaching an equitable workplace and society as a whole.”
Plans are underway to develop similar workshops to be offered with community partners throughout the year.