Ask an Expert
This new column of the Grad Gazette will feature YOUR questions each month! We’d like to hear what’s on your mind, whether it be maintaining a healthy work-life balance, tips for sticking to that workout routine you just haven’t been able to keep up with, managing a conflict in your workspace or even just how to keep your houseplants alive the whole winter. We’ll ask your questions to University or Baltimore community experts and post the answers in the next issue of the Grad Gazette.
Have a question? Submit it here. You can remain anonymous!
This month, we received the following question: "How do you handle microaggressions coming from leadership, down?"
Reader, this is an excellent question! We reached out to the UMB Intercultural Center for advice and received the following response:
Microaggressions, or denigrated verbal or non-verbal messages communicated to individuals or groups based on their social identity/identities, can create hostile learning and work environments, especially when coming from individuals in leadership positions. Microaggressions can be based on a host of social identities, including but not limited to ability, ethnicity, gender identity, income/socio-economic status, language, race, religion, and sexual orientation, and can illustrate subtle manifestations of institutional and systemic imbalances of privilege and power. While some microaggressions may seem innocent or well-intentioned, they can have lasting impacts, such as a decrease in productivity and problem solving and/or can trigger symptoms similar to severe trauma. If you have experienced microaggression(s), this guide from the New York Times can help you with responding to the microaggression(s). We also encourage submitting a bias and discrimination report. UMB's Intercultural Center staff are open to meeting with you to discuss your experience and support you in submitting the report. If you do not feel comfortable submitting a report, we can also discuss alternative routes for accountability as well as healing spaces for your mental health.
If you found this information has helpful as we did, the Intercultural Center has a number of excellent upcoming events like QPR Training, a Virtual Open House, The Table: An Open Space for Dialogue and an Imposter Syndrome Workshop. You can find these events and more on their webiste, by subscribing to their monthly newsletter and by checking the "Upcoming Events on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion" column of the Gazette each month. Thank you for reaching out to us!