UNDERSTANDING THE EXPERIENCES OF RACIAL MICROAGGRESSIONS AMONG HIGHER EDUCATION STAFF
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The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences and impact of microaggressions in the workplace. By drawing upon the lived experiences of higher education staff who had participated in diversity and inclusion trainings, the hope was to reveal the nature and impact of microaggressions in the workplace among individuals with preparation. In-depth interviews were conducted with 10 staff members drawn from institutions in the Northeast to document their lived experiences with microaggressions in the workplace. Results focused on the racial microaggressions detailed by five staff of color, each perpetrated by a White coworker or administrator, and the four witness accounts described by White staff involving a racial microaggression against a coworker of color. The additional White staff member detailed a disability-based microaggression she personally experienced. Thematic analysis of the impact of racial microaggressions included isolation, disempowerment, frustration, anger, and low job morale. Participants employed a number of strategies to manage and cope with experiences including reflection, confronting, and interrupting. Implications for workplace education and future research were discussed.