Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Taking Care of Ourselves & Each Other

Health & Well-Being


Main content start

Impact of Discrimination

The diversity that exists at Stanford serves to enrich the education of the whole person.  However, if you hold one or more minority identities, you may experience unique challenges. Students who hold marginalized identities may experience additional frustrations as a result of discrimination. It is important for us as a community of staff, students, and faculty to understand the impact of minority and race-based stressors. When you experience discrimination it not only impacts your social experiences on campus, but influences your physical and psychological health as well.  The effects of these stressors include, but are not limited to, increased anxiety, depression, fear, helplessness, avoidance, self-blame, imposter syndrome, sleep disturbances, muscle tension, and additional concerns.  These effects can be detrimental and require support from the Stanford community.  

Coping with Discrimination

Fortunately, there are ways to cope with race and minority-related stress. In addition to seeking support at CAPS we recommend:

•    Building a support network. You are not in this alone.
•    Developing a positive cultural identity and sense of self.
•    If spirituality plays an important role in your life, utilize your belief system as a way to cope with stress
•    Join campus organizations that celebrate your cultural norms and ideals
•    Become involved in social action
•    Engage in pleasurable activities
•    Take a break from possible triggers (social media)
•    Having a positive cultural identity and a strong sense of self is particularly helpful in combating race-related stress, stereotype threat, and imposter syndrome
•    Take classes that focus on the historical experiences and contributions of your cultural group

**Additional resources on dealing with discrimination can be found at Resources on Discrimination during COVID-19 and at Reporting Acts of Discrimination or Intolerance at Stanford.