This event has ended. Visit the official site or create your own event on Sched.
Thursday, June 23 • 10:30 - 11:20
CON05.02 - Not Your Grandfather’s Racism: Challenging Microaggressions in the Classroom

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule and see who's attending!

The climate of higher education today features a polarizing tension: Debates over political correctness and complaints about reverse discrimination abound. Concomitantly, universities pursue internationalization and cultural competencies. Within this complex learning environment, many disciplines require students to engage in intercultural group work, which is difficult as little is done to prepare students for intercultural groups.

Even in faculties with a curricular focus on issues of inclusion, diversity and equity, immigrant and racialized students report feeling marginalized by microaggressions in group work (Dunn, McKean, & Hoang, 2014). Arguably, all students are being failed if studying about inclusion and diversity does not translate into practices of inclusion and diversity within the academic context. Moreover, this subverts the goals of true internationalization and — of greater concern — presents the prospect of students cementing negative stereotypes as an outcome of their educational experiences.

Our interactive workshop will introduce participants to Collaborating across Cultures: Intercultural Group Work, a video project informed by the tradition of Theatre of the Oppressed. The video’s primary objective was to help instructors and students achieve greater intercultural understanding in order to enhance collaboration. An unexpected outcome has been that all those who participated in developing the video — and students who have participated in sessions based on it — have expressed a deep sense of empowerment, agency, and recognition of possibilities for change.

In this interactive session, we will show a few of the video segments in Collaborating across Cultures: Intercultural Group Work. Some of the graduate students involved with this project will then utilize Boal’s Forum Theatre method to have participants re-enact one of the video vignettes and interrupt the microaggressions. Participants will be given access to the videos and learning guide.

Dunn, P., McKean, M. & Hoang, A. (2014). Faculty of Social Work Equity Climate Survey Report. Kitchener: Faculty of Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University.


Nadine LeGros

Educational Developer, Intercultural Communication, Wilfrid Laurier University
Nadine LeGros works at Wilfrid Laurier University as and Educational Developer, Intercultural Communication, working with faculty to infuse intercultural content into their curricula. Nadine co-created the video, Collaborating Across Cultures: Intercultural Group Work, a film about... Read More →

Deena Mandell

Professor, Wilfrid Laurier University
Deena Mandell is a full-time faculty member in Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University, and is a Laurier Teaching Fellow. She initiated and coordinates a program to support students previously educated in a non-North American language or culture, and she is actively involved in... Read More →

WLU Student Presenters

Bharat Khatiwada, Kevin de Ruiter, & Sara Nawaz are all recent graduates of the Masters of Social Work program at Wilfrid Laurier University. They have all devoted a great deal of time to the Social Inclusion, Diversity, & Equity Committee.

Thursday June 23, 2016 10:30 - 11:20

Attendees (49)

Twitter Feed