Olympic College Diversity Conference – Great Job!
Olympic College’s first Diversity Conference was very well done, with so much good thought provoking information I am still processing it all.
What I enjoyed most about the conference were the two keynote speakers: Dr. Joy DeGruy and Yoshiko Harden.
The first keynote speaker was Dr. Joy DeGruy
From her website: “Dr. Joy DeGruy is a nationally and internationally renowned researcher, educator, author and presenter.”
The topic of her presentation was Post Traumatic Slave
From the Olympic College Diversity Conference Program “The theory of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome suggest that centuries of slavery followed by systemic racism and oppression have resulted in mutigenerational adaptive behaviors – some of which have been positive and reflective of resilience, and others that are detrimental and destructive.”
I was enlightened by her presentation and have bought her book on the subject, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing.
The second keynote was given by Yoshiko Harden, Vice President for Diversity at Bellevue College
Her speech title was “Good Intentions Aren’t Enough; The Damaging Effects of Microaggressions”
Microaggression was a new concept to me, and some of you may not be familiar with it either.
From Wikipedia – “Microaggression is a theory that hypothesizes that specific interactions between those of different races, cultures, genders or sexual orientation can be interpreted as small acts of mostly non-physical aggression; the term was coined by Chester M. Pierce in 1970.”
From the Olympic College Diversity Conference Program: “Often it
is well intended, “nice” people who tend to perpetuate
According to the speech description “Participants will learn to identify both individual and institutional forms of microagressions, and learn practical and useful strategies to address, interrupt,a nd dismantle them.” Yoshiko Harden’s Keynote speech did all of that for me.
The topic of microaggressions found its way into a couple of the sessions, and I attended two of those.
One of the things I like about the idea of microagressions is it helps make sense of something I have seen and felt, but couldn’t find a way to describe. One thing that comes to mind for me is how I feel when someone says to me “Wow, you are an engineer?! Good for you!” (Usually interpreted as ‘you are smart for a woman’) I also like that the concept helps break down our overwhelming anti-inclusion systems into bits we can makes sense of, and find ways to each make a real difference.
There were two videos presented at the conference that showed, in a humorous way, some examples of microagression.
What Kind of Asian Are You? (this video was posted just over a hear ago and has over 7 millions hits)
There were so many good sessions, and I was impressed by the presenters.
I look forward to attending the Olympic College Diversity Conference next year!