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Name
Charmi Shah

Fri, 09/18/2020 - 18:11

Great job on this post Matthew! It is very insightful and effectively outlines the key points from Dr. Joneja’s lecture and the class discussion.

It was striking to hear the discussion around how visible minorities face microaggressions which increase stress and emotional burdens, and how this is not a source of additional stress for their white peers. It was striking, firstly, because this additional burden is rarely brought to attention, and secondly, because it reminded me of the concept of stereotype threat. Stereotype threat refers to the fear and anxiety a person has of confirming a negative stereotype about the minority group they are associated with. This stems from the fact that when a person of colour (POC) is the only POC within a team, they often automatically become the “representative” for their group, as all their actions and opinions get associated with the whole minority group. This is a problem because it causes additional pressure on POCs to ensure they not acting in ways that might cause others to reflect badly on their group. This additional burden often causes them to underperform, due to the pressure and competence doubts. This, again, is not a problem white students face in white-dominated fields. However uncomfortable these conversations can be, they needed to lead to productive change so I appreciated Dr. Joneja's openness and insight.

Dr. Joneja’s commitment to having meaningful conversations as a way to hold institutions accountable was encouraging. The problems that are being discussed in the media of social and racial inequalities will require complex, multi-step, and multi-disciplinary approaches. This commitment and conversation will be necessary for sustaining the movement that is aiming for impactful change in social equity and inclusivity.

Name
Charmi Shah

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