To learn more about microaggressions, I interviewed Danielle Murphy who is a recent graduate from the Silver School of Social Work at New York University.
While Danielle is only at the beginning of her social work career, she has already embarked upon an inspiring journey along with a number of her peers to encourage greater racial diversity and cultural competence at her school.
Your placement this year was at a victims' crime unit within a hospital. What were your responsibilities as a social worker intern?
What was a typical day for you was like in this role?
Moving onto the area of racial microaggressions, you and a peer presented this past spring a workshop on this topic. Could you explain the term and give a few examples of how/when this occurs?
· An assault might look like a white woman clutching her purse or crossing the street when she sees a black man walking towards her.
· An insult could be an Asian American being complimented on their good English.
· An invalidation might be someone saying that they don’t see color.
Are there some things people of color may do to avoid getting hurt by racial microaggressions?
Do other socially marginalized groups like women, the obese and LGBQTs also experience microaggressions?
Yes! There is additional research on gender and sexual orientation microaggressions. I have not heard much talk about size-ism but I'd venture to say that it happens.
Thanks so much, Danielle, for enlightening us about microaggressions and what we can do to start becoming more aware of our behaviors so as not to inadvertently offend others.
What questions and/or thoughts come to your mind following this interview?
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Reference: (Sue, Derald Wing, 2010). Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation. Wiley, CA.