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Making sense of racial microaggressions

1 May 2022
The April 2022 event of the DiSTEM (Diversity in STEM) network was ‘Making sense of microaggressions’, featuring Susan Cousins and Barry Diamond. The event took place online on Wednesday April 27th, 12:00-13:00.

For this event, we welcomed Susan Cousins and Barry Diamond, who presented their recent book ‘Making sense of microaggressions’. Susan and Barry uncovered common racial microaggressions present in every life, by both text and design. Each section conveyed the mood and tone of microaggressions, providing a powerful visual experience of these subtle and invisible forms of oppression.

The oppressive nature of microaggressions is often ‘hidden’ in plain sight and ultimately leaves the victim feeling vulnerable and exposed. Within the book, Susan highlights the substantial impact that these microaggressions can have on people who are confronted with them every day, whereas Barry seeks to unmask the prejudice and discrimination that exists behind each of these comments, through his bold and provocative designs.


Our speakers

Susan Cousins is the author of ‘Overcoming Everyday Racism: Building Resilience and Wellbeing in the Face of Discrimination and Microaggressions’ (Jessica Kingsley Publishers).  Susan is Senior Compliance Advisor, Race-Religion and Belief at Cardiff University. Susan is an experienced counsellor and supervisor, and she is committed and actively engaged in issues of race and its impact on psychological well-being.

On the other hand, Barry Diamond is Senior Designer and Brand Manager at Cardiff University. He is the designer of ‘Representology: the journal of media and diversity’. He is involved in various projects and collaborations and is the Graphic Asset Designer for the artist and musician Goldie.


Takeaway leaflet

The session was not recorded due to the sensitive nature of the topics covered. The takeaway leaflet from the event explains the meaning of the term ‘microaggression’ and brings a summary of the main aspects of ourselves that we may bring to conversations about race. The leaflet also covers microinterventions we can use when we experience or observe microaggressions.