Buttigieg campaign surveyed staffers of color about microaggressions in the workplace

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Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s campaign sent a questionnaire to staffers of color earlier this month inquiring about microaggressions in the workplace. 

The questionnaire, which was first reported by the New York Times on Tuesday, was sent out by the campaign’s national engagement coordinator Raven Hollins on Jan. 1. 

The survey’s first question asked the staffers whether they had experienced any of six microaggressions listed, which included being interrupted, as well as being “called the name of a different staff member of color,” according to the news outlet. 

Audio obtained by the Times includes several staff members speaking at a “Building Belonging” meeting the following day about what they said was the difficulty in recruiting a diverse staff. The Hill has not heard the audio cited by the Times. 

The Buttigieg campaign posted a Medium article after the Times published its report, saying it has been committed to fostering a diverse staff since Buttigieg launched his campaign last year. 

The article addressed the “belonging” sessions specifically, saying they were an opportunity for staffers to meet in “safe and honest spaces” to discuss making the campaign and the Democratic Party as a whole more inclusive. 

Buttigieg himself touted his campaign’s diversity and inclusion efforts in a Tuesday statement. 

“In order to live those values you have to be proactive and intentional in addressing diversity and inclusion issues, as we have strived to be and will continue to be,” he said. “We’re proud of the staffers who stood up and made their voices heard to help our campaign improve and be more inclusive.”

“We realize that we can always do better and these honest discussions are how we make progress,” he added, “and we will continue to provide our staff the safe space to have them.”

Buttigieg has come under fire for what critics have said is a lack of diversity within his campaign and among supporters throughout his White House bid. 

He has also faced scrutiny for his handling as mayor of the aftermath of the fatal police shooting of a black man in South Bend last year. 

Tags Buttigieg campaign Microaggression Pete Buttigieg The New York Times
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