Microaffirmations are the positive opposite of microaggressions: small, often unintentional actions that make people feel more seen, welcome, included, or supported.

Microaffirmations are no substitute for large-scale, systemic Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity programs. However, knowing how Carleton students recognize and receive microaffirmations can help faculty and staff make their day-to-day interactions with students more positive and affirming.

In 2022, George Cusack and a panel of TRIO students organized an LTC lunch session on microaffirmations and the ways that the students had experienced them in their time at Carleton. You can watch that panel here, at the LTC Archive (if nothing else, it stands as a testament to how amazing our TRIO students are). You can also access the slide deck from the session here, which includes an overview of the research on microaffirmations.

The following year (2023), George conducted a follow-up survey of 124 Carleton students, asking where and how they had experienced microaffirmations. He presented his initial findings at the 2023 faculty retreat, and you can download a PDF of the slides from that presentation here.