Cultural Considerations: What Are Microaggressions?

According to Psychology Today, «Microaggressions are the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.» Microaggressions can be committed against any such group marginalized in our society – people of color, LGBTQ people, women, people with disabilities and more.

Many times, people commit microaggressions without meaning to, based upon biases, assumptions and/or stereotypes that they did not realize they were holding. Microaggressions can seem small (micro!), especially when they weren’t committed on purpose – but the reality is that they compound on each other when someone experiences them from multiple people, multiple times a day.

Check out the short video below that uses a metaphor to explain why microaggressions are so harmful (regardless of intent!). FYI: This video, while very helpful (and funny at times!), contains two uses of foul language – a «goddamn» at approx. 1:00, and an «f» word at approx. 1:07. Please keep this in mind, both for you personally, and for if you plan to show it to others in a training session.

For more on microaggressions, including common examples to avoid, check out this article.

Texas CASA is committed to our goal of ensuring the highest quality advocacy possible for all children in the child protection system, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, expression, or disability status – that’s why we are highlighting resources to support the CASA network’s journey to becoming more inclusive, welcoming, affirming and culturally considerate. Explore more Cultural Considerations articles.