Ever considered what privileges are most important to you? This is the activity to help your participants do just that.
- Participants will be able to identify at least two privileges that they consider personally important and salient
- Participants will be able to reflect that different people value different privileges
- To talk about the intersection of privileges within and between identities
- Sticky notes
There are a lot of different experiences that we all have in relation to privilege and identity. For some of us the lack of privileges in regards to our race may be particularly salient, for others it may be around gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, mental health, disability, or other identities. It may be the lack of stability that you experience within your family, the privilege of knowing whether you’ll be able to pay the rent, or the privilege of not thinking about how to introduce your pronoun in a job interview.
During this activity we’re going to dig into what are the privileges are most salient in your life, what are the ones that you lack and what it all means for our everyday experiences..
- Pass out approximately 10 sticky notes to each person (ideally all the same color) and a pen.
- Ask participants to write on each sticky note a single privilege that they think is important. This can be a privilege that they know they have or one that they do not experience. An example you could provide would be like “knowing that I can visit my favorite restaurant without worrying about accessibility.” This would be a privilege that someone who is able bodied could write down or someone with a mobility impairment who does not enjoy this privilege at all times.
The goal is to generate a list of privileges that participants believe are important to their lived experience.
- Give participants a heads up that they will be asked to share them with the group so write something they are comfortable sharing and do not write your name on the sticky notes.
- Ask participants to stick up all the privileges on the walls or on the desks and then provide time for everyone to take a look at the privileges.
- Ask participants to try to organize the privileges in some way – let them decide what way that should be, the prompt to them is to organize the privileges into like groups in 5 minutes or less.
- If time allows – ask participants to read off the different privileges within each category that they’ve decided on.
- What was it like to do this activity?
- Was it easy to think of privileges that you have? Or easier to think of the ones you didn’t have? What was that thought process like?
- Where did your mind go when you were reading other’s sticky notes?
- What did you learn from seeing all the privileges together and trying to categorize them?
- What did you notice about the privileges the group wrote down as a whole?
- What was the process like deciding as a group? What do you think the value of doing this activity in groups was?
- What are you taking away from this activity?
It is a good idea to summarize some of the major points made by the participants or to summarize the things that you learned from leading the activity. Another option is to leave the activity with the last question regarding what the participants learned from the activity before transitioning into the next activity.