Iowa State Ready To Share Its Microaggression Training With Others


David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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Iowa State University (ISU) wants to share its microaggression training with its local community.

According to The College Fix, the university with a sensitivity conscience wants to bring its “Ouch! That Stereotype Hurts” workshop on the road. It wants to share its message of hyper-sensitivity with local businesses and other “interested” organizations.

ISU is ready to send a facilitator to their doorstep with course curriculum in hand and begin instruction on learning how to identify mildly offensive comments and how to respond in an inclusive manner.

Sometimes all it takes is uttering a simple “ouch” when you’re offended!

“A main basis of the workshop is to assume in an ‘ouch’ moment that harm was not intended and see the learning opportunity,” said Iowa State University Human Sciences Specialist and course coordinator Malisa Rader. “The desire to communicate respectfully in a diverse world is what led us to look for a curriculum that could be shared with others.”

Radar told The College Fix that every ouch moment should be the basis of “learning experience” as well as a source of offense.

“Simple non-blaming strategies are discussed and practiced, like asking questions, redirecting, soliciting an ally, and even simply saying ‘ouch,'” Rader said.

ISU first offered the workshop to locals this January in its quest to move microaggression training from the campus to the community. Some businesses, schools and nonprofit groups have reportedly “expressed interest” in the opportunity.

The two-hour workshop was spawned from a book by Leslie Aguilar of the Diversity and Inclusion Center, also entitled “Ouch! That Stereotype Hurts.”

According to a University of Cincinnati study, 82 percent of Ouch! graduates “used the skills they learned” on the course within three months.

However, other data gleaned in from the study provides less cause for enthusiasm. Only 43 percent of workshop attended actually submitted an after-action report/survey. The student demographics are narrow, with the course being overwhelmingly attended by white women: 83.9 percent are female and 98.6 of those and the minority male representatives are white.

“Ouch! That Stereotype Hurts” is just be the beginning of more sensitivity outreach. Aguilar is already envisioning an American microaggression trilogy with “Ouch! That Silence Hurts” already completed and a third, yet unnamed installment “encouraging honest, respectful communication” on the way.

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