Chapter 5: Pedagogies of Microresistance for Equity and Social Justice

As one of the facilitators for the next 2022 EDI Reading Club meeting on June 30, I look forward to joining you in a discussion of Chapter 5: Pedagogies of Microresistance for Equity and Social Justice.

If like me, you’re reading a borrowed print copy and can’t highlight or annotate as you read, you’re in luck. Chapter 5 (just this chapter) is available online on a platform that allows you to highlight text and create annotations. Go to In addition to Chapter 5, this companion website offers templates, activities, and rubrics associated with various chapters of the book.

Below, I’ve summarized several key points and definitions along with a few reflection questions.

Chapter 5: Pedagogies for Microresistance for Equity and Social Justice by Cynthia Ganote, Tasha Souza, and Floyd Cheung contends that educators of any subject with social justice aims can enable students to confront systems of oppression and injustice by introducing them to tools to confront microaggression. Microaggressions can occur anywhere but these acts are especially harmful in educational and workplace settings where it diminishes students’ feelings of self-worth and inclusion with a consequent impact on their academic performance.

Microaggressions are “brief, commonplace, and derogatory verbal, nonverbal, or environmental slights and insults” that are “rooted in larger systems of oppression and often occur in everyday interactions.”

In reflecting on the way in which you respond to microaggressions in various contexts, what personal work do you have yet to do?

Paolo Freire originated the concept of “critical consciousness” which is the awareness of systems of oppression and being empowered to take action to confront and transform these structures.

As educators, what are some ways we can create a curriculum that supports the development of critical consciousness to enable students to become agents of change?

According to Ganote, Souza, and Cheung, “[t]eaching students how to practice microresistance can increase their resilience in the face of microaggressions and empower students to counter them.”

Microresistance is defined as “small-scale individual or collaborative efforts that empower targeted people and allies to cope with, respond to, and challenge microaggression with a goal of disrupting systems of oppression as they unfold in everyday life, thereby creating more inclusive institutions.”

How might you use the tools described in the chapter to teach microresistance to your students?

Microaffirmations are “tiny acts of opening doors to opportunity, gestures of inclusion and caring, and graceful acts of listening,” as well as “providing comfort and support when others are in distress.” (Rowe)

How have you supported students in building their resilience to oppressive systems and hierarchies?

The authors demonstrate that educators can enable students to confront microaggressions with acts of microresistance. Using OTFD and other tools in the classroom can empower students by developing their self-awareness, increasing their self-advocacy, and building their resilience.

Ted and I invite you to reflect on the chapter and respond to the discussion questions above prior to our meeting next week. Take care and see you soon!