Preliminary Investigation of Efforts to Improve Awareness of Racial Microaggressions on Campus

  • Brea Banks Illinois State University, USA
  • David F. Adams Illinois State University, USA
  • Cedric Williams Illinois State University, USA
  • Dakesa Piña Illinois State University, USA
Keywords: microaggression, bystander, counseling


Exposure to racial microaggressions negatively impacts the well-being of people of color. Researchers examined responses to a bystander workshop implemented to combat racial microaggressions at a Predominantly White Institution. Participants attended training sessions and completed several surveys prior to and after the workshop for 7 weeks. Results indicate that participants obtained and maintained knowledge presented during the bystander workshop. Significant differences for gender and racial status were identified surrounding the degree to which participants reported observing microaggressions on campus throughout the 7 weeks of the study. Data also indicate that colorblind racial attitudes predicted participant satisfaction with the program, as well as an underrepresented racial identity. Implications and future directions for research are discussed.


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Author Biographies

Brea Banks, Illinois State University, USA

BREA M. BANKS, Ph. D. is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Illinois State University and is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in the state of Illinois. Her research interests include the cognitive consequences of microaggression and student of color experiences in higher education. Email:; Twitter: @DocBanks4

David F. Adams, Illinois State University, USA

DAVID FRANCIS ADAMS, Ph.D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist at Illinois State University’s Student Counseling Services. His research interests include innovative ways college counseling centers can address student needs, counseling services and retention of underrepresented students, and programming to address racial microaggressions on campus. Email:

Cedric Williams, Illinois State University, USA

CEDRIC WILLIAMS, Ph.D. is a Consulting Psychologist and serves as the Founder & CEO of Legacy Consulting & Research Group LLC. His consulting and research services for teams and organizations focus on multicultural competence, resilience, and occupational thriving. Email:

Dakesa Piña, Illinois State University, USA

DAKESA PIÑA, Ph.D. is a Staff Counselor and Instructional Assistant Professor at Illinois State University. She is also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of Illinois. Email: