Auburn University hosted multicultural scholar Derald Wing Sue as part of its Critical Conversations speaker series Thursday evening.
Wing Sue is the best selling author of “Microaggressions in Everyday Life” and a professor of clinical psychology at Columbia University.
Wing Sue was introduced by Annette Cluck, the provost of women’s initiative in the Office of Inclusion and Diversity. Cluck said she was excited to introduce Wing Sue as she uses his textbook in her classes.
“He is the most cited multicultural
The talk was titled “Making the Invisible Visible” and focused on microaggression.
“Microaggressions are the everyday slights,
He explained the small everyday injustices encountered by people of color take a very real psychological toll.
He gave the example of a woman walking down the street clutching her purse tighter instinctively when she encounters a black man. This is an example of the type of daily microaggressions that members of minority groups have to face.
Wing Sue made the distinction that most microaggressions are not intentional and are often carried out by people who consider themselves moral and inclusive.
Another microaggression he cited is when people comment on his excellent
“It carries with it a hidden
According to Wing Sue, verbal microaggressions like these in combination with environmental microaggressions, like not seeing anyone of your ethnicity in a place of power, can hinder someone from a marginalized group from reaching their full potential.
Wing Sue stated that people of color and white allies can practice micro interventions that can be used against a microaggression.
“These responses must be quick and rehearsed,” Wing Sue said. “They turn the conversation from intention to impact.”
Donielle Curry, a
“I am here to learn how to be an effective counselor to people of all cultures," Curry said. “I want to be sensitive to people different from myself and make sure that I never carry out any microaggressions as a counselor.”