Priviledge / Starting Line

Type of Activity: Diversity, Incentive driven actions

Props Needed: Pieces of candy, fake dollar bills

Set Up: Come up with a definition for the word privilege with the group before starting the activity. After the group has come up with a definition, give them one of the two examples here:

Ex 1.  A right or immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor:  prerogative:  especially:  such a right or immunity attached specifically to a position or an office

Ex 2.  A right enjoyed by a person beyond the common advantages of others.  A special right granted to persons in authority, a prerogative.

Process: Line everyone up, shoulder to shoulder.  Then read the following:

  • If your family owns more than one car, take a step forward.
  • If you have ever been discriminated against based on gender or race, take a step back.  If not, take a step forward.
  • If you have ever traveled out of the country take a step forward.
  • If your parents own their house, take a step forward.
  • If you can easily find role models of your own race, take a step forward—if not, take a step back.
  • If you are confident in your academic abilities, take a step forward.
  • If you are happy with your physical appearance, take a step forward.
  • At the end of the last statement, hold up a piece of candy, dollar bill, or some prize and tell the students to race for it.  See who is able to grab the prize first.

Debriefing Topics:

  • What might this dollar symbolize?
  • Was it fair that certain people were closer to the dollar than others?  Why?
  • Why might some people have more privilege than others?
  • Can you identify privileges that some people have that others may not?
  • Where does privilege come from?
  • Do you think you have privilege?
  • What can we do about privilege?

Make sure you give the participants all a piece of candy/fake dollar at the end of the activity.

For more resources see: Setting the Conflict Compass

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