Reflection Blog: The Effect of Racism in Academia

I was inspired to write this story due to the influx of events that occurred on my own college campus at the University of Utah, and other events that were taking place on college campuses nationwide regarding race.

I read an article by the researcher William A. Smith about Racial Battle Fatigue last year, and found it really interesting. After all of these events took place, I found myself thinking about his research quite often. After a little bit of digging I found that his work corroborated with other studies and research as well. I then interviewed students I found around campus about all of the research I found, and asked how they felt about it.

The best source for my story was an African American student that I was able to interview who was familiar with William A. Smith’s work, and had quite a few thoughts about about all of the events that happened on campus and nationwide that regarded race.

I was incredibly surprised to learn that sterotypes, microaggressions and institutional racism can have such a negative impact on a students health. I assumed that it would take a toll on their mental health, but never really considered that it could take a toll on their physical health as well.

After writing this article, and reading all of the research behind it, I am most surprised this isn’t discussed more often, and more widely by everyone who is affiliated with higher education institutions.