Microaggression Policy & Process

Wheeler is building an anti-racist culture of belonging and accountability, where people can show up being their true selves and is working to model anti-racist practices in our institutional and personal behavior. Each division at Wheeler has developed a process to follow when a student or employee has a microaggression to report. This process is part of an effort to support members of marginalized groups to feel safe in the Wheeler community and to actively address and interrupt microaggressions, harassment, discrimination, and other misconduct. Our microaggression policy is grounded in the lived experiences of community members who have traditionally been marginalized at Wheeler and beyond and our commitment to addressing and reducing racial grievances in our community. Wheeler’s culture is growing to be truly more representative, so people of color and other marginalized members of our community have organizational support and feel safe. 

Terms we use at Wheeler

  • A microassault is a “verbal or nonverbal attack meant to hurt the intended victim through name-calling, avoidant behavior, or purposeful discriminatory actions.” Example: Students wear Confederate flag clothing.
  • A microinsult is an insensitive communication that demeans someone’s racial identity, signaling to people of color that “their contributions are unimportant.” Example: A teacher corrects the grammar only of Hispanic children.
  • A microinvalidation involves negating or ignoring the “psychological thoughts, feelings, or experiential reality of a person of color.” Example: An Asian American student from the U.S. is asked where she was born, which conveys the message that she is not really an American.