February 21, 2022

Friday’s Program Addresses Microaggression


Workshop is available to all on Zoom

As Schoolcraft College continues to foster conversations around IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access), an important topic within that sphere is microaggression.

As cited in UCLA’s “Diversity in the Classroom,” the term microaggression dates to the 1970s and can be defined as follows:

Microaggressions are the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.

To help foster better understanding of microaggression and provide some strategies and tools to deal with microaggression, Schoolcraft College’s STARS/DEI* program presents “The Bystander Imperative” from 4-5:30 p.m. on Friday, February 25. The program is open to all and can be accessed on this Zoom link with the following credentials:

  • ID: 892 2440 9271
  • Passcode: 392253

“The goal of the ‘The Bystander Imperative’ is for participants to learn about being an active bystander when witnessing microaggressions,” said Jennie Rokakis, Learning Support Services Assistant. “Participants will learn about why we don’t act, identify our personal roadblocks to action, practice techniques to intervene, and conclude with building communities of accountability.”

Person writing on chalkboard
Nick Daily (he/they), a Black Queer person who has been doing workshops, training, consultative, and support work for over a decade, will lead Friday’s workshop.

Leading the workshop will be Nick Daily (he/they), a Black Queer person who has been doing workshops, training, consultative, and support work for over a decade. Most recently, Daily served as Chief Diversity Officer for a large community college in California.

“One of our STARS DEI staff members attended Nick’s presentations at professional and affinity group conferences and reached out to see if he would be willing to work with the STARS DEI program on a campus-wide workshop,” Rokakis said. “After learning more about the program and Schoolcraft College, it was determined that ‘The Bystander Imperative’ was a great fit for the program and the campus’ focus on IDEA.”

Presenting “The Bystander Imperative” is the latest in a string of initiatives for the STARS/DEI program. 

The STARS Scholars, Mentors, and Mentees recently participated in MLK Day of Service to highlight two of our core pillars – service-learning and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” Rokakis said. “They participated in various service projects around Metro Detroit, including packing art supply donations at Arts and Scraps, organizing food donations with Gleaners, and crocheting hats and scarves for shelters.

Rokakis added that one student, who works in a hospital, gathered her co-workers and made gift bags for the patients. They then gave the gift bags to patients and sat and talked with them regarding Dr. King as well as reflect on history, how far we’ve come, and the work still to be done.

“This student shared that the patients were grateful for the company, and many shared their own story of growing up during the civil rights actions of the 1960s,” Rokakis said.

STARS/DEI and “The Bystander Imperative” are made possible by a generous grant from the Schoolcraft College Foundation.  

*Scholars Taking off Academically & Rising to Success (S.T.A.R.S.) Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Leadership Program is an opportunity at Schoolcraft College that offers unique experiences to develop students as scholars and leaders. Learn more on their web page.

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