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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Shardé Pettis gets annoyed when people say her hair is long "for a black girl"— something she considers a microaggression.

Microaggressions, commonplace actions that communicate negativity toward marginalized groups, was one of the topics discussed at "Dear White People: A Dialogue" on Wednesday. The event, hosted by UF Black Affairs, the Interfraternity Council and Multicultural & Diversity Affairs, gave about 70 students an opportunity to discuss race relations in college.

The talk also covered white privilege, the Black Lives Matter movement and race relations in Greek organizations.

It was facilitated by UF students Drew Baker, Camille Liverpool and Edward Williams III. Liverpool, a 22-year-old UF psychology senior, said it was no coincidence the talk was hosted close to Halloween.

Students saw projected images of racially insensitive incidents that have occurred at UF, including the Chi Omega Sorority "trap queen" photo and a 2012 incident of blackface at a "rock stars and rappers"-themed party.

"There’s not always good cultural representation in Greek life," said Baker, 21, the IFC’s director of multicultural and diversity affairs and a UF economics senior.

Students were divided into small groups to discuss their feelings toward diversity in Greek life.

P.J. Jones, the programming coordinator for UF Black Affairs, said she thought the dialogue went well and hoped participants realized the dialogues are important.

"It’s really about learning from each other," she said.

Kason Green, a UF industrial engineering fifth-year, said he was pleased with the turnout from different Greek councils.

"It was good to come together not because something bad happened but to be proactive," the 22-year-old said.

Laura Johnson, a UF telecommunication senior, said she hopes Greek councils continue to have honest discussions about race.

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"Small discussions will lead to big actions," the 22-year-old said.

Contact Alexandra Fernandez at and follow her on Twitter @alexmfern

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