Year 2 International Affairs Scholars Reflection #7

I attended the Multicultural Center training event titled Microaggressions on Sunday, March 1st from 6-7 PM. This was held in the Alonso Family Room in the Multicultural Center of the Ohio Union. This served as an academic event.

The presentation was led by Ashley Yong. She is a social justice engagement graduate assistant at the Multicultural Center. This session was the second of a series of training sessions and conversations based on issues of identity, implicit bias, diversity, and other important topics. Our focus this time around was defining microaggressions and understanding how and when they might occur. We discussed the slow buildup of offensive comments whether intentional or unintentional. This is illustrated in a short YouTube video linked here. The video argues that microaggressions are like mosquito bites and can continuously affect certain people and it only takes one more bite to be too much.

This event is related to the topic of International Affairs in that we are also people and must treat each other with respect in order to achieve world peace. We must begin to be more aware of our biases and recognize when our comments are out of line. To be successful in our individual careers we need to develop our emotional intelligence and learn more about those around us.

I have touched on this subject in the past with the Morrill Scholarship Program. In being more inclusive, we should take note of the things we are saying, whether intentional or unintentional, that affect how we interact with different individuals. Everyone deserves a voice and opportunity to express themselves in a respectful manner.

After attending this event, I am interested in completing the series and learning all that I can while I am in college. This is a prime time to be vulnerable and take steps to become a better overall leader and lift up those around us. I want to learn more about the types of microaggressions that others face and challenge myself to be more aware of these issues and speak up when something is not right.