Day 3: How We See Others

  • The success of any equity and inclusion effort is to invite as many people as possible to take part in the conversation. We need to do everything we can not to turn them away accidentally before others have a chance to consider what we are trying to convey.  

    Sometimes, the word used to convey a concept can get in the way of what we are trying to accomplish. Take the idea of microaggressions, for example. The notion of microaggressions can be easily misunderstood as a list of phrases that one is not allowed to say. However, it is not that simple.

    Microagressions can be things we do or say without meaning any ill intent, yet are still perceived that way by people who often encounter discrimination based on their race, gender, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs. Sometimes, we don’t realize we are making people uncomfortable or that we are making judgments about others. Although this may not be purposeful, our actions and words can hurt people. 

    How do we learn about others and make connections without making potentially hurtful assumptions? There is a difference between curiosity and assumption. The resources below provide insights and examples of common microaggressions that various racial minority groups may experience on a regular basis. Being aware of how the examples given impact the speakers in the linked videos can help us examine the way we approach our interactions with others.

    Regardless of intent, it is important to recognize the way our words and actions may be perceived, and be open to learning why they may be perceived negatively. The importance of using consistent affirming and accepting language with others is crucial in building positive relationships. This greater understanding of the experiences of others is an important step in being part of a global community.

    Did You Know?

    Ten R-H staff members are district trainers in facilitating community-building circles, and 371 staff members are trained in facilitating these circles. These circles are key to building relationships among diverse groups.

    Resources for Learning

    Option 1: Watch one or more of the following:

    Option 2: Watch Teenagers Discuss Microaggressions and Racism (1:49)

    Option 3: Read A Look at Implicit Bias and Microaggressions

    Consider These Ways to Reflect, Grow, and Take Action

    Questions to Consider for Self-Reflection:

    • What were some “ah-ha” moments that you had based upon the experiences and feelings shared by individuals in the videos?
    • How does hearing about the lived experiences of others potentially impact the way you think about people who may have a different racial/ethnic background than you?

    Ways to Get Involved:


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