The Get A Collective GRIP® approach was developed by a team at the Center for Women & Work (CWW) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. The approach was developed as part of a five-year National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant. The goal of the NSF ADVANCE program is to increase the representation of women faculty in STEM fields. The NSF-funded UMass Lowell transformation initiative, called Making WAVES (Women Academics Valued and Engaged in STEM), was designed to establish a supportive environment for women faculty in STEM by reducing the interpersonal and institutional microaggressions that undercut both their ability to be productive and their general sense of well-being.

The WAVES initiative includes interventions that address three interconnected issues:

  1. disrupting microaggressions by raising awareness and engaging the entire university community in addressing them,
  2. promoting alternative interactional patterns that support the success of STEM women faculty and counter the marginalizing impact of microaggressions, and
  3. changing targeted aspects of the institutional context that can be at high risk for microaggressions and other biases, e.g., by establishing detailed procedures for important personnel decisions.

The Get A Collective GRIP® bystander intervention program falls under the first goal related to disrupting microaggressions. See the Making WAVES website for information about the larger scope of the project.

Acknowledging that there is no one-size-fits-all formula or decision tree for effectively responding to microaggressions, the Get A Collective GRIP® approach provides guidelines for considering the many factors that influence what bystander responses are possible. Specifically, the Get A Collective GRIP® approach encourages the consideration of the following elements that can inform subsequent action– Assessment, Goals, Relationships, Institutional context, and Power relations.

CWW offers other organizations the opportunity to implement the Get A Collective GRIP® approach through ongoing consultations and workshops.

The CWW team is led by Meg A. Bond (Distinguished Professor of psychology and CWW Director) and Michelle C. Haynes-Baratz (Associate Professor of psychology).

National Science Foundation ADVANCE Program Institutional Transformation Grant, Award #1629761.