Implicit Bias, Discrimination, and Microaggressions

Treating someone differently or unequally on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, or status as a protected veteran.
A statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group.


Now, more than ever, we must stand together as a community and take action to change this situation of racial intolerance. Those of us who are White must confront our implicit role in the system of racism, and stop condoning or tacitly approving of racism by being passive bystanders. And we must understand that there are many forms of action we might take in support of a push to be an anti-racist society--from peaceful protest to running for office, from community organizing to petitioning elected leaders. Or it may be as simple as stepping into a situation when someone needs help or support. We can all learn to protest effectively, to be an upstander in the presence of discrimination, and to support each other emotionally.

Aggies Think, Care, Act. We condemn the wanton violence consistently perpetrated against Brown and Black people. We empathize with their suffering, accept the call for change, and commit to doing the necessary work it will take. We invite every Aggie to take action and be a part of the solution.

The purpose of this page, and the “You Belong at USU” campaign, is to provide individuals of the Utah State University Community with the tools to confront their personal biases and understand how they can better demonstrate the Principles of Community.


Definition – We believe diversity in our campus community can enhance critical thinking by challenging implicit bias, better preparing students to be effective citizens, both locally and globally. We believe, despite our differences or similarities, all members of our community should feel respected and receive equitable treatment in order to flourish in an academic environment.


Diversity "Think" Questions

  • What assumptions do you make about the people you meet?
  • How do you seek to understand people around you?
  • When was the last time you challenged your biases?
  • How do you see and treat other people on campus?
  • What bias traps interfere with your impressions of other people?
  • How can you learn more about implicit bias and its impact on your thoughts?

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Diversity "Care" Questions

  • How would it feel to be ignored or tolerated in your USU family?
  • How would your connections with people around you change if you focused on building your own curiosity and empathy skills?


Diversity "Act" Questions

  • How will you respond to microaggressions?
  • How can you create spaces where people are respected, included and valued?

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Human Dignity

Definition – We believe in the community of mutual support. We encourage each Aggie to play an active role in speaking up against discrimination and harassment, advocating for others, and reaching out to those in need.


Human Dignity "Think" Questions

  • What barriers are keeping you from connecting with others?
  • How are others impacted when you ignore microaggressions, or are silent?


Human Dignity "Care" Questions

  • How can you cultivate connection with people with different backgrounds than you?


Human Dignity "Act" Questions

Social Responsibility

Definition – We believe service and civic engagement elevate the academic experience. By putting classroom learning into practice through meaningful acts of service, students learn important lessons in civic responsibility while strengthening communities.


Social Responsibility "Think" Questions

  • What bias traps are keeping you from seeing the potential in others?
  • If you see 11 million pieces of information at a given moment and your brain can only process 40, what shortcuts is your brain making?
  • What role do you have in strengthening your community?


Social Responsibility "Care" Questions

  • As you proactively manage bias in your community, how does that strengthen your relationships with others?


Social Responsibility "Act" Questions

  • How can you show your commitment to serving your community?
  • How can you be more intentional in strengthening your social responsibility to the USU Community?

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