An academic culture can be described as inclusive when learners feel welcome and supported within both the law school and the communities that are an integral part of the law school. Microaggressions can undermine a spirit of inclusion.
What are microaggressions? A communication that conveys indirect, subtle, or unconscious messaging that marginalizes or derides one or more identities of the communication’s subject.
Under the First Amendment, protected speech cannot be prescribed or punished. This means that using inclusive language must be a choice. As the Pitt Law community strives for inclusive excellence, we recognize the importance of understanding this term, acknowledging when we might have engaged in these actions, and choosing to adopt habits aimed at preventing the harms caused by microaggressions.
Have I perpetuated a microaggression? Just like we all harbor various prejudices, we've all probably subjected someone to a microaggression at some point in life, most likely in an unintentional or at least unconscious manner.
Have I experienced a microaggression? Communications that can be classified as microaggressions are frequently experienced differently by the speaker and the listener. You are the best judge as to whether or not a comment or question directed at you amounts to a microaggression.
If you have experienced a microaggression from a member of the Pitt Law Community, or while attending a class or event through Pitt Law, consider documenting the interaction through the OEIE Microaggression Tracking Tool.
The OEIE Microaggression Tracking Tool is a support resource meant to empower members of the Pitt Law community who have experienced microaggressions by providing a forum to document their experiences. Please note that while you may report anonymously, information disclosed through the OEIE Microaggression Tracking Tool is not confidential. By providing information through the tracking tool, you consent to this information being shared with persons and departments within Pitt Law or the University of Pittsburgh, as appropriate, and waive any rights under FERPA or any other applicable law as to the information you choose to disclose. While interactions disclosed through the tracking tool may not result in any direct administrative action, the content shared helps the OEIE better understand the law school’s social climate and provide support, as appropriate.
If you have been subjected to threats, harassment or an assault; or if you are in an unsafe situation, please contact the University of Pittsburgh Police at 412-624-2121. If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
If you are in a safe situation and have been subjected to any discriminatory treatment that might constitute a violation of University policy, please consider reporting the matter to the Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (see: https://www.diversity.pitt.edu/civil-rights-title-ix/make-report).
For additional information or support, you may also contact Dean of Students, Allie Linsenmeyer: firstname.lastname@example.org.