Addressing Racial Microaggressions in the Writing Center

Jo Kim, Taylor Eng, Kelechi Ogbuokiri, Occidental College


In the two years of isolation due to COVID-19, racially charged crimes, including robbery, assault, and murder, rose exponentially; additionally, when returning to in-person work at the Writing Center, we noticed handling racially linguistic microaggressions – verbalized and written “indignities,…slights and insults” upon racial identities – were primarily at the expense of the tutor (Sue et al. 2007). Given these observations of our nation’s inadequacy in responding to racial injustices, reimagining the ways in which we solve such conflicts is essential to reclaiming the Writing Center as a safe and welcoming space for all individuals. In order to do so, we will develop ideas to protect tutors’ well-being when faced with racially oppressive language in the form of linguistic microaggressions, which will be done through a literature review of our selected sources reflecting on our own personal experiences. We will present our proposed methods for identifying and preventing the emergence of this type of racism in our workspace through a virtual poster.

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