Parking & Mobility, December 2020

Page 18

/ DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSION

Continuing the Conversation By Kim Jackson, CAPP

G

ARY MEANS, CAPP , began the conversation for our industry of Diversity, Equity

and Inclusion (DEI) in the October issue of Parking and Mobility. I have the extreme pleasure of continuing the conversation for this issue.

Psychologist Derald Wing Sue defines microaggressions as “brief, everyday exchanges that send denigrating messages to certain individuals because of their group membership.”

Microaggressions Upon reflection when I think of having an even playing field of access, I reflect on all the microaggressions I have heard, have been directed my way and that I needed to respond to when appropriate. Psychologist Derald Wing Sue defines microaggressions as “brief, everyday exchanges that send denigrating messages to certain individuals because of their group membership.” Microaggressions can come across as compliments, but they are not. They reveal the negative beliefs or assumptions held by the individual and in our society. They are often connected to stereotypes. Microaggressions happen below the level of awareness, often committed by well-meaning members of 16

PARKING & MOBILITY / DECEMBER 2020 / PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG

the dominant group or culture. Although there may be no intention of offense, the following examples are still problematic: ■ Statements that repeat or affirm stereotypes about a minority group or subtly demean that group. ■ Statements that position the dominant culture as normal and the minority one as aberrant, or pathological. ■ Expression of disapproval or discomfort with a minority group; assuming all members of that group are the same. ■ Minimizing the existence of discrimination against a minority group. ■ Minimizing the real conflict between the dominant culture or group and a minority group. Everyday examples many colleagues have faced: ■ Surprise that a person of African or Latino descent makes an insightful, profound, or intelligent remark. “She was really well spoken.” ■ Remarking how well-mannered or behaved a group of African-American children are. ■ Referring to how well persons of South East Asian “speak English.”

SHUTTERSTOCK / ZITA

DEI is a topic I am and have been passionate about throughout my career, mostly looking at the subject of equity. As a woman of color, I have never been afforded the same access as men or white women in parking and transportation and while breaking some barriers, I have had to make a conscious commitment to reduce those barriers for others, if at all possible along my journey.


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