Unmasking Micro-inequities

Unmasking Micro-inequities

The Centre for Race and Culture has developed a series of educational workshops and free open-access resources for service providers and the general public in Edmonton, Alberta under the name Unmasking Micro-inequities. This project supports participants to learn ways to hold themselves and others accountable when faced with everyday moments of discrimination—specifically micro-inequities—in their own lives and workplaces. We define micro-inequities as subtle, indirect, and often unintentional practices or behaviours that communicate bias or prejudice against members of marginalized groups, making them feel belittled, excluded, disrespected, or disadvantaged. These discriminatory acts occur across power dynamics, impacting members of marginalized groups such as women, 2SLGBTQ+ folks, people with disabilities, religious minorities, and persons living in poverty. By learning about the interplay between macro- and micro-level inequities, participants will learn why micro-inequities are not small or insignificant, but harmful. Together, we will explore the various forms of micro-inequities and the power dynamics that inform them, along with strategies for recognizing and meaningfully responding to incidents of micro-inequities. Educational content will include definitions, up-to-date theory, and a broad range of examples and stories, all contextualized to the realities we face in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Using an engaged approach, opportunities for self-reflection, sharing experiences, discussion and action-planning will be woven throughout the workshops and resources. 

During the workshops, participants learned:

  • What micro-inequities and microaggressions are;  
  • How to recognize and unmask them;   
  • Why and how they are harmful; and, 
  • Strategies for intervening in them (as bystanders, allies and targets) 

The Unmasking Micro-inequities project and all the resources that go with it have been made possible by generous funding from the Edmonton Community Foundation’s Community Grants Program.

All of the stories in this resource have been illustrated by Brnesh Berhe.