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Anti-Racism Resources: Implicit Bias and Microaggressions

This guide provides resources on anti-racism. It was developed in consultation with NSCC's Office of Human Rights and Equity Services.

Implicit Biases and Microaggressions

What are Implicit Biases?

  • Implicit biases are unconscious attitudes and stereotypes (Ruhl, 2020).
  • Such unconscious attitudes and stereotypes are present in the criminal justice system, workplace, school setting, and in the healthcare system.
  • There are many different examples of implicit biases, ranging from categories of race, gender, and sexuality.
  • These biases often arise as a result of trying to find patterns and navigate the overwhelming stimuli in this very complicated world. Culture, media, and upbringing can also contribute to the development of such biases.
  • Removing these biases is a challenge, especially because we often don’t even know they exist.
  • Specifically, implicit bias refers to attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious way, making them difficult to control.

Ruhl, C. (2020, July 1). Implicit or unconscious bias. Simply Psychology. 




McCombs School of Business. University of Texas at Austin. (2018, October 31). Implicit bias: Concepts unwrapped [Video]. YouTube.

What are Microaggressions?

  • 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 (Wing Sue, 2010).
  • These hidden messages may invalidate the group identity or experiential reality of target persons, demean them on a personal or group level, communicate they are lesser human beings, suggest they do not belong with the majority group, threaten and intimidate, or relegate them to inferior status and treatment. 

Wing Sue, D. (2010, November 17). Microaggressions: More than just race. Psychology Today.



MTV News. (2015, July 22). If microaggressions happened to white people [Video]. YouTube.