We were very fortunate to have the opportunity to facilitate a workshop at the White Privilege Conference in Philadelphia this past weekend. We presented our workshop, Is This Equitable?: Experiential Learning Activities to Confront White Privilege and White Supremacy on Sunday twice and really enjoyed hearing feedback, ideas, questions, and suggestions from other conference attendees.
For our first activity, we had our participants draw people based off of descriptions we provided. This led to a fruitful discussion about internalized bias and stereotypes and how this activity can be used to claim and work through unconscious racism and prejudices we all had. The act of drawing people and then confronting the tangible visual of who you envisioned versus who we were actually describing creates cognitive dissonance and makes privilege real and personally relevant. We talked about how we use this activity as a way of combating 'post-racial' comments students were sharing, and quite literally pointing out that racism is very present and real (and within most of us!) today.
For our second activity, we talked through a pom pom simulation we created to teach our students about privilege and systemic poverty and oppression. We were unable to do the activity with the participants due to time and space constraints, but we explained the three rounds with them and brainstormed parallel patterns and occurrences in life and society.
We are feeling energized and enthusiastic about continuing this work and collaborating with others! We hope to get out and do some workshops at other schools and organizations as well as learn more about others' efforts. Some questions we were asked that we are still pondering include:
- How do we make sure that students understand these systems of oppression hurt all of us?
- How can this work be done in public schools or schools with more structured and less flexible curriculum demands?
- How do you do this work depending on the demographics and space in your classroom?
Please share your thoughts, comments, and questions below! We want to hear from you. Let's stay connected.