Sunday Forum: “I Didn’t Mean It Like That”

Presented by Joanne Dingus

At work, at the grocery store, in school, at home, even at church—people hear and sometimes use words and phrases that demean, ridicule, or demonstrate ignorance about people from different groups and backgrounds. Regardless of whether the comments are deliberately malicious, said out of ignorance or thought to be a joke, such words not only impact those on the receiving end but also everyone around who hears the words as well.

Microaggressions, those brief and commonplace insults and indignities, are an unfortunate part of everyday lives. They are most often directed at people in marginalized groups and can be harmful, hurtful, and destructive. Understanding what microaggressions are and their impact can make a difference in reducing this form of bias. We will talk about some of the cultural norms that got us here, how to recognize micro-aggressions and what to do when we hear them.

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