Campus Event Commentary, Microaggressions Panel: Luna Jerjees

The microaggressions panel focused on overcoming and facing microaggressions at a Predominantly white institution. Firstly, Microaggressions refer to “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative prejudicial slights and insults toward any group, particularly culturally marginalized groups.” The panel discussed how students of color are affected every day by these statements and must always stand up for themselves against the majority. It can be emotionally taxing to always be the person educating others on what is appropriate to say and what harmful. These microaggressions can often seem insignificant because they are not directly life-changing, rather they chip away at you until you can no longer stand it. The panel also discussed allyship as the responsibility of white individuals on campus. It is important for white individuals to actively point out microaggressions and stand up for those voices which often cannot stand up for themselves. The term “ally” tends to be passive; you can claim to be an ally and end your responsibility there. However, to be an active ally, you must take part in the conversation and allow the voices of People of Color to be heard in a space where they are not always. This panel addresses many important topics in a sensitive way that both detailed many issues but also allowed for growth and learning.

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