Discussing White Privilege

Wendi Nancarrow-Carter

Well, I am going to pull from a source many already know – Peggy McIntosh’s “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”. I have been using this article and its Privilege lists with my students in Sociology and in Multicultural Counseling. What we do is break into groups and I randomly assign each group a “Privilege” from the list of privileges.

Before entering the groups they read the “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” essay.

Once in their group, they read through the list of statements and reflect upon how they relate to some of those statements as either a privilege or not and discuss the following questions:

Privilege Activity Group Reflection Questions:

  • What did it feel like to read the list?
  • What is something you learned about yourself from reading this list?
  • Did anyone discover areas of implicit bias? (hopefully all of you)
  • Why is it important to be aware of privilege?
  • How can we use our privilege to create positive change?

We then come together and collectively discuss our own realizations of privilege and focus on how we can use our privilege (allyship, educating, etc.) to dismantle the power differential in both small ways and big ways.

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Diversity and Social Justice - Faculty Guide (2021 Edition) by Wendi Nancarrow-Carter is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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