The University of North Carolina is set to host a “microaggressions” event in August despite the removal of their controversial list of prohibited microaggressions posted to the college’s employee forum earlier this week.
The fourth annual “THINKposium”, which is to be hosted by the University’s Diversity Education and Research Centre, as well as the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, will focus on the topic of microaggressions for a day-long student event.
“The day long program is designed to allow participants to explore and understand the nature and impact of microaggressions in the higher education enterprise” announces the event description.
Participants will explore language, behaviors, policies and practices that impact the classroom, workplace and educational experiences for students and faculty/staff at Carolina. The discussions and keynote should help them reflect on their own practices, understand the concepts and behaviors that perpetuate oppression of marginalized identities; and be part of facilitated conversations to develop capacity and skill to address the issue within their own units and departments. The program will include a keynote and concurrent workshops focusing on responding and positively disrupting microaggressions in teaching/learning and the workplace.
The event will feature Dr. Damon A. Williams, a diversity author and academic, as keynote speaker. Williams is most notable for radicalizing black youth whilst serving in his former academic positions, and supporting their disruption of campus events.
Earlier this week, the University of North Carolina attempted to disassociate themselves from a published prohibited microaggressions list that was posted to the employee’s forum by three college staff members. The list advised against mentioning the celebration of any Christian holiday, such as Christmas, claiming that it “further centers the Christian faith and minimizes non-Christian spiritual rituals and observances”.
Complimenting a lady’s shoes, inviting a colleague to play a round of golf, and announcing that you don’t know any LGBT people, even if you don’t know any LGBT people, were also listed as “hostile” and “negative” microaggressions that were to be avoided by colleagues.
The post was later removed, after numerous conservative outlets including Breitbart reported on the situation, and the university released the following statement:
UNC-Chapel Hill has no policy, formal or informal, about microaggressions. The Employee Forum has since decided to remove the post because it was misconstrued as University policy.
The blog post reflected the opinions of some Employee Forum delegates and was intended to provide a general overview about microaggressions—not to fully examine the topic, which is nuanced and complex.
The fourth annual THINKposium is set to take place on August 17th at UNC Chapel Hill. Entrance is free but requires registration.