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Death by a Thousand Paper Cuts: Understanding and Engaging Microagressions

Backhanded compliments can take many forms like “your work is surprisingly good” or “I can’t believe you were actually on time.” Statements like these make us pause and question how they were meant. Regardless of intent, they can hurt and stick with us. These small, often unintentional, exchanges are a form of discrimination called microagressions, and research has shown these small injustices can add up and result in poorer mental health, lower self-esteem and overall negative outcomes. That said, because of their implicit nature, we ALL are capable of microaggressing others at some point, whether we realize it or not. Join social work researcher and University of Michigan faculty member Dr. Shanna K. Kattari to talk about what microagressions are, how they are connected to unconscious bias, what to do when we mess up and perpetuate microagressions, and how to better engage microagressions in the workplace.


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