Power & Privilege Exercise
Created and shared to you by the Gay Straight Alliance Club of 2022's Hammerskjold Highschool.
Presented this workshop at the 2022 Thunder Pride Breakfast
Privilege is a right or exemption from liability or duty granted as a special benefit or advantage. Oppression is the result of the use of institutional privilege and power, wherein one person or group benefits at the expense of another.
The objective of this activity is to confront entrenched systems of power and privilege, and identify common situations when privilege is not acknowledged, to the detriment of the disadvantaged and oppressed.
Each participant answer the questions at each of the seven sections and if the answer is yes put a bead on a string.
At the end, each person has a necklace that reveals to themselves the power and privilege they do or do not hold. We will lead a discussion following the exercise.
This was originally adapted from: https://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/mcintosh.pdf
The work is not about blame, shame, guilt, or whether one is a "nice person." It's about observing, realizing, thinking systemically and personally. It is about seeing privilege, the "up-side" of oppression and discrimination. It is about unearned advantage, which can also be described as exemption from discrimination.
A sign of growth is moments of being uncomfortable. We encourage you to lean into any discomfort. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said:
“The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stands in moments of comfort, but where they stand at times of challenge and controversy.”
Add up all your checkmarks: the higher your number the more privileged you are.
What did this exercise tell you about you?
Did you discover anything new about yourself?
How are you feeling?
What is privilege? We all have privileges. What are yours? Were you surprised by any of the privileges you found in your invisible knapsack?