University of Illinois Survey Finds Widespread Racial Microaggressions on Campus

illinois-logo copyA new study by five scholars at the University of Illinois finds that Black and other minority students at the university frequently are confronted by racist remarks, are subjected to racial stereotypes, and are marginalized in group projects and activities. The report is based on an online survey of 4,800 students from underrepresented minority groups on the University of Illinois campus.

The results found that 51 percent of the minority students reported experiencing racial stereotyping. More than one quarter said their contributions in the classroom were minimized and 25 percent said they were not taken seriously due to their race. Some students mentioned that their academic advisers encouraged them to change to less challenging majors.

In addition to documenting students’ experiences of racism in the classroom, the report offers recommendations to the campus for training faculty and staff members in addressing racial microaggressions and challenging stereotypes, encouraging dialogue, and defusing rancor. The recommendations included requiring students to take courses on racial inequality in the U.S. and on non-Western culture; creating ways for students to identify, report and respond to racial microaggressions; and tracking majors with low enrollment, high numbers of transfers out of the major, and low graduation rates for students of color.

The report, Racial Microaggressions at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign: Voices of Students of Color in the Classroom, can be downloaded here.

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  1. The research findings for this study is quite telling and troubling along with being indicative for the majority of Historically White Colleges and Universities (HWCUs) in the United States. The fact remains that so-called as Black students are situated at HWCUs in a labor capacity playing football or basketball, most White students are not threatened by such persons.

    The majority of Black students at most HWCUs are there to cultivate their intellectual capacity and acquire a wide array of technical and professional skills. Unfortunately, many White students, faculty, and staff become intellectually threatened to the point they are so inclined to display their racial animist implicitly or explicitly. Just pause for a moment, the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign is situated in the middle of Illinois drawing White students who probably never interacted with Blacks. In many cases, their only interaction with Blacks in the buffoonish and negative stereotypical imagery as shown in the entertainment industry and the inherently biased media. As a result, White students, faculty, and staff have been socially engineered to views “all Black students” with a fractured lens.

    In the final analysis, the entire university community loses out because it failed to incorporate, extrapolate, and cultivate the intellectual capacity of its Black or non-White students.

    • Re: “Caribbean Queen”;

      Your comment is partially correct because it’s a global problem that’s appropriately identified as “global White supremacy”. The fact remains that most Whites have been socially engineered to view those identified as belonging to the “African Diaspora”(particularly Black Americans) as less-than or not part of the human family. As result, anyone whose visually detected as “African” (e.g., from the African continent, the Islands, etc.) should not be surprised when they’re on the receiving end of disparate treatment. Also, in reference to “DJ’s” comment, he should have at least provided a more substantive comment because it appears that he’s experience or knowledge with this type of disparate treatment.

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