“CWW is very knowledgeable and their commitment to these issues comes through.”
Microaggressions are “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, and environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial, gender, sexual-orientation, and religious slights and insults to the target person or group” (Sue, 2010, p.271). Reference: Sue, D. W. (2010). Microaggressions in everyday life: Race, gender, and sexual orientation. John Wiley & Sons Inc.
The Get A Collective GRIP® approach for addressing microaggressions through bystander activation is a distinctive approach developed by the University of Massachusetts Lowell Center for Women & Work (CWW) with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The Center's distinctive approach emphasizes ways that bystander action can foster more positive and inclusive organizational cultures by promoting collective accountability for challenging expressions of workplace bias. Expanding collective organizational capacity to address bias in respectful ways has been shown to have an empowering impact and to foster more equitable organizational norms, behaviors, and workplace climate. Rather than a one-time bystander workshop, the approach underscores the importance of embedding the initiative within an organization by developing in-house expertise to sustain the effort.
CWW recommends that for the most impactful organizational change, organizations choose all three activities if they have not already done their own internal assessment. The data collected during the workplace climate assessment can be invaluable in identifying areas of focus for additional work and for ensuring the Get A Collective GRIP® approach is optimally tailored for your organization .
The National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE Program funded the UMass Lowell Center for Women & Work’s (CWW) Making WAVES (Women Academics Valued and Engaged in STEM) Initiative.
One aspect of the WAVES initiative was the development of the distinctive CWW approach, Get A Collective GRIP® on microaggressions, that emphasizes the value of bystander action to promote more positive and inclusive organizational cultures.
For more information, contact Mary Spooner by email: Mary_Spooner@uml.edu.
Learn more about our Get A Collective GRIP approach: Promoting Active Bystanders to Address Workplace Microaggressions webinar