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Lunch & Learn: Understanding & Preventing Microaggressions

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee invites you to

Lunch and Learn!


Understanding and Preventing Microaggressions

Presented by Dr. Kateryna Sylaska,

Associate Professor of Psychological Sciences at Carthage College


When:  April 28, 12:00 -12:50 pm

Format:  Attend via TEAMS link: Click here to join the meeting

Who:  All Allendale staff are encouraged to attend from the location of their choice.

Session Overview

The standard definition for microaggression is a verbal or nonverbal slight that impacts an individual who might identify as being from a marginalized or non-mainstream community. Microaggressions can be intentional or unintentional. Regardless of intent, these words or actions are often rooted in implicit bias, which are attitudes and beliefs that exist outside of our conscious awareness and control. These beliefs are mostly assumptions about people based on stereotypes related to their ethnicity, age, gender or race. We might have been influenced by our families as we were growing up or formed these opinions based on what we’ve seen on the news or TV shows.

Increasing sensitivity to what might be received as microaggression is an important step in establishing a community where everyone can experience a sense of belonging. As guides and models for the youth we serve, understanding microagressions and how to respond when they occur can help us in our roles. Dr. Sylaska will share her knowledge and experience with microaggressions, provide examples, and engage us in considering how we might develop a shared understanding in our community.

Presenter Biography

Dr. Kateryna Sylaska is an Applied Social and Personality Psychologist and an avowed lifelong learner. Her research focuses on how we can use research to inform and improve how we interact in the world, exploring how (a) the expression of empathy, (b) positive/negative experiences of social support and help-seeking, and (c) the feeling of belonging all influence the lived experiences of young adults.  Dr. Sylaska’s passion for community applications began with her work at a teen peer counseling crisis hotline in Phoenix, Arizona (Teen Lifeline). There, she trained and worked with teens to answer hotline calls and assisted with community outreach and education efforts. Her experiences at Teen Lifeline as a teen peer counselor and eventual hotline supervisor built the foundation of a commitment to evidence-based community work and education. Dr. Sylaska earned her B.A. and M.A. from Northern Arizona University in Psychology. She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology (emphasis in Social and Personality Psychology) from the University of New Hampshire.

This meeting is virtual only. Please log on via the Microsoft Teams link below:
Meeting ID: 243 794 209 053
Passcode: jsfAHp