Seminar: Power and Privilege

power and privilegeRecently, the PULSErs participated in a seminar about power and privilege.  One of the activities that impacted all the fellows was a Privilege Walk.  The fellows formed a circle. Questions were called out about personal experiences and the fellows stepped forward or back in response.  For example, one statement was, “Step backward if you grew up with more than 50 books in your house.”.  As questions were asked, some fellows stepped back until they were pressed against the wall, while others were more vulnerable in the middle of the circle.  The fellows saw a visual representation of how much privilege they have in relation to others.  After the exercise, the fellows shared their impressions, expressing surprise, guilt, embarrassment, and curiosity. The Privilege Walk experience has come up numerous times since in seminars and personal conversations.