32nd Annual Conference

March 10-12, 2020

Minneapolis Convention Center, Minnesota

There’s Nothing Micro About Microaggressions!

90-minute Workshops

Day 2

Session Code: S3-B
When: March 11, 2020
Location/Room: M100ABC
Level: Intermediate
Track: Critical Employment Practices
Presenter: Dr. Michael Baran, Iris Inclusion


People are increasingly becoming aware of the term microaggression, though they often don’t quite know what a microaggression really is, why it is a problem or what to do about it. Leaders, managers and employees often commit these microaggressions in their efforts to bond, to be funny, to show familiarity or to show curiosity. The microaggressions then contribute to feelings of exclusion for marginalized people—in terms of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion, age, ability, etc.—affecting internal workplace culture and also impacting employees interacting with customers.

But the term itself can be off-putting to everyone. Those committing the microaggression get defensive. (“I wasn’t being aggressive!”) Those who were affected feel minimized. (“It doesn’t feel micro to me!”) This session will provide a way forward with a new term (subtle acts of exclusion), deeper understanding, and more productive ways for addressing these subtle acts of exclusion.

Learning Outcomes
  • Replace “microaggressions” with the more effective term “subtle act of exclusion” (SAE)
  • Practice an accountability system for responding to SAE
  • Visualize how addressing SAE can be part of an overall D&I strategy

The Forum on Workplace Inclusion®
2211 Riverside Ave, CB 54
Minneapolis, MN 55454
(612) 373-5994

Photos by Sarah Morreim Photography
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