“Some may say it’s tiresome to dwell on the hurt- after all there’s a relentless (if artificial) drive to Stay Positive! in America, to focus only on solutions—yet an essential step in the process of decolonization is hearing the painful stories of the colonized and the exploited, respectfully and with an open heart.”
― Edgar Villanueva

Day 7: Personal Reflection & Biases
Now that we are more knowledgeable about implicit biases and motivations behind why we may act the way we do, it is time to acknowledge different ways that these feelings manifest. One of the primary forms is microaggressions, which is what we’ll be covering today. We hope that with increased awareness of microaggressions, we can take the next steps of minimizing their presence.

Examples of Microaggressions (2 Minute read)
Article Description via BuzzFeed: A photographer at Fordham asked her peers to write down the microaggressions they've encountered. Here is what they had to say.

Microaggressions in the Workplace (2 Minute Read)
Read this article to learn about seven types of microaggressions that are common in the workplace in order to make sure that you are correcting yourself and others going forward.

When and How to Respond to Microaggressions (6 minute read)
Read this Harvard Business Review article for strategies on how to respond to microaggressions.

No. You Cannot Touch My Hair! (16:02)
Excerpt from YouTube Description: Through her own personal story and the hair-raising experiences of other women and girls, Mena Fombo’s TEDxBristol talk is a witty, yet compelling and sometimes dark exploration of the objectification of black women. 

The Muslim on the Airplane (15:58)
Excerpt from YouTube Description: Watching the news, it seems like ethnic divides are ever deepening. But how can we solve these complicated problems when each side lives in fear of the other? The answer is simple, argues Syrian-American poet Amal Kassir – it starts with, “what’s your name?”

Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man (9:27)
Video Description: Emmanuel Acho sits down to have an “uncomfortable Conversation” with white America, in order to educate and inform on racism, system racism, social injustice, rioting & the hurt African Americans are feeling today.


  • How have microaggressions impacted your ability to contribute in the workplace?

  • What actions can you take to address microaggressions? (use today’s article to shape your answer)

  • How can you show up for colleagues who are experiencing microaggressions?
Share one of today’s resources on social media using the hashtags #unitedforequity, #ABequitychallenge to inspire friends, family, and colleagues to stand up to microaggressions.

Just joining the Challenge? Catch up on content from previous days on abuw.org.
Acton-Boxborough United Way mobilizes the caring power of community to drive positive, lasting change. United, we fight for the health, education, and financial stability of EVERY person in Acton and Boxborough.