About The Project
Microaggressions are the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership. This Project was created as an outlet for students to express their personal experiences with these hurtful phrases to the rest of the student body in hopes of bringing awareness to the unaddressed problem. Clackamas High School experienced many different responses when the project was first proposed and even more comments arose when the posters were hung. However, as days passed and the dust began to settle people began to find the meaning of the project. More and more students began to regret not participating in the project as they saw some of their classmates standing before them and putting themselves on the line. Participants began to bond over their microaggressions and be proud on their mark. Some students even expressed great remorse and guiltiness and saying these microagressions if even as a joke. The project was months in the making but the end result was worth the time and effort put in and will be a constant reminder to those who enter the school of the power of their words.
About The Participants
The students and staff who participated were very brave to put both themselves as well as their microagression out for the whole school to see. A lot of speculation rose after the project was first advertised and even more comments were made when the posters were hung. Some viewers of the project made negative comments, referring to the project as a joke but participants found that any conversation whether good or bad shown a light on the matter of microagressions which was the purpose of the project. Despite the negative comments many positive comments came in about the project as well. Students expressed their shock that these things were being said to other students and others even apologized for saying the hurtful phrase to another. Microaggressions ranged from race to weight to sexual preference. Any member of a marginalized group that experienced a microaggression were welcome. The project has been very beneficial as it has brought a lot of attention to microaggressions and the power of the words we say to others. As word spreads about the project and the event gets more recognition those involved with the project are able to see just how big of an impact the project is and will make. "The most powerful part of the project was how many students put themselves out there and participated," said Gabby Nguyen, MAP project student organizer. Another MAP student participant, Rachel Coyne, said that it “was a freeing experience being able to admit how much just a few words can hurt you for a lifetime." If the project becomes an annual we hope that the number of participants grows as more and more people become comfortable expressing their feelings on the topic so that others may become more aware.
About The Founders
The MAP project (Microaggression Project) was an idea thought of by Art Teacher Kellette Elliott while participating in the North Clackamas School District Equity Cadre in October. She thought that creating large-scale posters with students and staff holding a board with the microaggression they’ve experienced would give the victims a chance to have a voice and the viewer a chance to see that words can hurt. The project supports the North Clackamas Schools” Equity Policy approved by the School Board. Some of the policy goals include: “An inclusive and welcoming environment plays a critical role in supporting a child’s educational goals”; “Affirm the identity of each student, acknowledge and celebrate differences to create a sense of belonging for each student”; lastly, “Incorporate the voice, culture and perspectives of students, staff, families and communities that reflect student demographics to support and enhance student success.” Kellette Elliott teamed up with CHS Learning Specialist Katie Keller and the National Art Honor Society of CHS to make the project come to life.