The Limestone Lens

Focusing In On Anti-Racism and Equity

The "M"s of March - Merging, Microaggressions, Moving to Action

As we enter a new month and season, we need to carry with us our "unlearning and learning" that we have done so far this year.

I use the concept of "unlearning and learning" because that is exactly what we need to do as a staff and community, to continue our equity and anti-racism work. We need to "unlearn" and counter the habits, comments, routines, practices, and policies that are inherently racist and inequitable. Full stop. And as a collective, we need to move in the opposite direction with our learning, pushing against the, "well that is just the way it is" to "this is what it has to be". And it is urgent that we work together, to approach everything thing we do and say, with an anti-racist/anti-oppression mindset.

So...this issue we are going to focus on the "M"s of March!

Let's get started!

Merging Elements of Identity: Intersectionality and Impact

Considering intersectionality means considering the impact on individuals when different forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, classism, socioeconomic status, abelism) combine, overlap, intersect, and/or merge together to form an identity.

"Intersectionality is not just elements of one’s identity — instead, it's about intertwining forms of oppression that an individual experiences."

International Women's Day Needs to be Seen Through an Anti-Oppression Lens

Women’s rights without an antiracist and anti-oppression lens still centres whiteness. "Intersectional work aims to be inclusive of everyone and respecting of all parts of others' identities"

Here is an article for more details and tips on how to incorporate intersectional work:

For International Women's Day 2021 and beyond will you #ChooseToChallenge?


Microaggressions are subtle comments & actions that are often well-intentioned but are harmful in nature, reveal underlying biases, and reinforce stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination.
Examples of Workplace Microaggressions

"The Microaggression May Be Brief, But Their Effects Are Lasting"

1. Lasting effects may include: Feeling alienated, invalidated, insulted, dismissed. Microaggressions can determine how safe someone feels, how seen and valued they are, how comfortable a room can be...

2. One microaggression is harmful, but imagine being on the receiving end of microaggressions again and again and again everyday."

  1. Korin Miller and Korin Miller, "Microaggressions Are Often Unintentional-But That Doesn't Mean They're Not Harmful,", June 8, 2020.
  2. Elizabeth Hopper, "What Is a Microaggression? Everyday Insults With Harmful Effects," ThoughtCo, 2019.


Countering Microaggressions

Moving Towards More Equitable Change

All of us have a responsibility to examine our own position within this anti-racism work.

This month, as we look at how intersectionality and microaggressions impact ourselves and others around us, we need to consider the terms "unlearn and learn" once again.

Reflection Question:

What changes can you make, in your interactions with individuals and communities, that can acknowledge and respect individuals' identities, countering generalizations and stereotypes?
Big picture

The Limestone Lens: Focusing In On Anti-Racism and Equity

As Limestone District School Board employees, we are all a part of this learning journey. If you have ideas about future equity topics or terminology, please contact Rae McDonald.