Students gathered in Foster Hall on Feb. 10 for a "Privilege Talk" hosted by the Justice Project. Event attendees participated in a group activity as well as small and large group discussion on the topic of “privilege.”
Justice Project coordinator Ellen Baker welcomed students and reminded everyone to come with a posture of grace and learning, and then handed the mic over to Tori Teague, who led the group in an activity intended to demonstrate privilege. The group started off lined up in the center of the room, then moved spaces forwards or back, responding to statements like, “If you were ever uncomfortable about a joke related to your race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, move one space back,” and, “If you own a car, were given a car, or have access to a car, move one space forward.” At the end of the activity, students were scattered across the room at varying distances from the center line, demonstrating the different degrees of privilege represented at the event.
Attendees then participated in small group conversation to discuss how the activity made them feel, or if they had a privilege that they were not aware of or hadn’t previously recognized. MVNU students Nana Yeboah, Tyler Leonhart, Sandra Addo, and Jake Friday then gave testimonials on how the misused privilege of others has negatively affected them.
Baker and Dr. Stephen Metcalfe led large group discussion, expressing that privilege isn’t something you ask for and that one should not feel ashamed of their privilege, as long as they are making an effort to use their privilege to help others who might have a lesser degree of privilege. “My privileges are not just for me,” said a student at the event, “I should use my privilege to lift others up.”
The next event is scheduled for March 23rd at 7:30 p.m. and will be on the topic of “Violence and the Bible.” The MVNU Justice Project “works to seek out and address issues concerning the wellbeing of humanity through education, discussion, and positive action with the purpose of bringing the Kingdom to the community.”
Caption: Students participated in discussion on how to use privilege to help others at the Justice Project "Privilege Talk" on Feb. 10. Photo by Leah Shaffer. Artwork by Liz Crosby.