An everyday dimension of racism: Why we need to understand microaggressions
Keele University signed up to the Race Equality Charter in 2017 and over the past two years, under a framework provided by Advance HE's Race Equality Charter, we have been working on a process to self-assess, identify and self-reflect on institutional and cultural barriers affecting ethnic minority staff and students. It was identified that the majority of staff and students would recognise overt racist actions and words, including understanding the mechanisms that have been put in place to address or report this. This short documentary intends to raise awareness about another aspect of racism, that is more subtle and nuanced, sometimes referred to as 'Microaggressions'. The term 'microaggressions' has been used to capture some of these everyday encounters in which the equal standing of BAME students or colleagues is called into question. Typically there is no intent to exclude in such interactions, yet it is important to understand that these exchanges are nonetheless reflective of ongoing practices of marginalisation and of structures of racial hierarchy. In order to explain to the wider university community, in an accessible way, exactly what it feels like to be subjected to a microaggression, this short documentary in which some of our BAME students share their own personal experiences.