ASIA Families hosted a workshop for adult adoptees on June 18, 2016 at the Korea-US Science Cooperation Center in Vienna, VA. The topic for the workshop was how to respond to microaggressions.
Microaggressions are roughly defined as everyday slights, intentional or unintentional, about race, gender, disability, or orientation that accumulate over time and become isolating, exhausting, and anger-inducing experiences. The workshop begin with welcoming remarks by Minsoo Park, the minister counselor for the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea and was facilitated by Lilly Gilmour. A panel of local figures in the adoption community, including Pacific Miss Asian American, Kira Omans, came together to share their stories and how they found ways to proactively address microaggressions. Ms. Omans was joined by two other panelists, Jonathan Albert and Matthew Gong.
During the workshop, participants shared their own stories and techniques, and then learned about additional methods for addressing microaggressions using the Critical Conversations model. In the end, the responses were often that it is good to say something humorous to defuse the situation and highlight the absurdity of a comment, but that it depends on the situation and who is involved, especially if it is in a work situation.
It is the hope of ASIA Families that the attendees walked away better prepared to handle microaggressions, and that their readiness will empower them to express themselves.