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Beaded Privilege

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by

Nikia Bryant

on 29 October 2015

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Transcript of Beaded Privilege

What does this have to do with leadership?
Reflection
If I have children and a successful career, few people will ask me how I balance my professional and private lives.

My elected representatives are mostly people of my sex. The more prestigious and powerful the elected position, the more this is true.

When I ask to see “the person in charge,” odds are I will face a person of my sex. The higher‐up in the organization the person is, the surer I can be.

I do not have to think about the message my wardrobe sends about my sexual availability.

In general, I am not under much pressure to be thin or to worry about how people will respond to me if I’m overweight.

I will never be/was never expected to change my name upon marriage or questioned if I don’t change my name.

Most individuals portrayed as sexual objects in the media are not the same sex as I am.

Major religions in the world are led mainly by people of my sex.

Gender/Sex Privilege
I can assume that I will easily have physical access to any building.

I have never been taunted, teased, or socially ostracized due to a disability.

I can do well in challenging situation without being told what an inspiration I must be to other people of my ability status.

I can go shopping alone and expect to find appropriate accommodations to make the experience hassle‐free.

I can hear what’s going on around me without using an assistive device.

I can easily see the letters on this page.

I am reasonably certain that others do not think that my intelligence is lacking, just because of my physical status.

If I am fired, not given a raise, or not hired, I do not question if it had anything to do with my physical or mental ability.

Ability Privilege
I can look at the mainstream media and find people of my race represented fairly and in a wide range of roles.

Schools in my community teach about my race and heritage and present it in positive ways throughout the year.

I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or closely watched by store employees because of my race.

I can take a job with an employer who believes in Affirmative Action without people thinking I got my job only because of my race.

When I use credit cards or checks for a face‐to‐face transaction, I don’t have to wonder whether someone will challenge my financial reliability because of my race.

I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.

I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.

I can contemplate many options ‐‐ social, political, or professional ‐‐ without asking whether a person of my race would be accepted or allowed to do what I want to do.

Race Privilege
I can be sure that my social class will be an advantage when I seek medical or legal help.

I am reasonably sure that I or my family will not have to skip meals because we cannot afford to eat.

I have a savings account with at least a month’s rent and bills set aside in case of emergency.

I have taken a vacation outside of the country within the past three years.

I have never been homeless or evicted from my place of living.

I have health insurance.

I don’t have to rely on public transportation to travel to work or school; I can afford my own vehicle.

The neighborhood I live in is relatively free of obvious drug use, prostitution, and violent crime.

Class Privilege
I can assume that I will not have to work or go to school on my religious holidays.

I can be sure to hear music on the radio and watch specials on television that celebrate the holidays of my religion.

My religious views are reflected by the majority of government officials and political candidates.

Food that does not violate my religious practices can be easily found in any restaurant or grocery store.

Places to worship or practice my religion are numerous in my community.

Most people do not consider my religious practices to be “weird.”

Implicit or explicit references to religion where I work or go to school conform to my religious beliefs.

I do not need to worry about the ramifications of disclosing my religious identity to others.

Religious Privilege
I have formalized or could formalize my love relationship legally through marriage and receive the benefits that accompany marriage.

I can move about in public without fear of being harassed or physically attacked because of my sexuality.

I do not have to fear that if my family or friends find out about my sexual orientation there will be economic, emotional, physical or psychological consequences.

If I want to, I can easily find a religious community that will not exclude me for my sexuality.

No one questions the “normality” of my sexuality or believes my sexuality was “caused” by psychological trauma, sin, or abuse.

People don't ask why I “chose” my sexual orientation.

I can go for months without me or anyone else referring explicitly to my sexuality.

I easily can find sex education literature for couples with my sexual orientation.

Sexuality Privilege
When I apply for jobs, my legal right to work in this country probably will not be questioned.

People generally assume that I can communicate proficiently in English.

I have never been told not to speak in my native language during everyday interactions.

People do not assume I am poor because of my nationality.

The history of my country is an integrated part of the basic U.S. education curriculum.

People from my country are visible and positively represented in politics, business, and the media.

If I wanted to, I could travel freely to almost any country.

People where I live rarely ask me what country I’m from.

Nationality Privilege
Please read each list carefully. As you read a list, for every item on the list to which you can answer, “Yes,” take one bead. Do this for each list.
When you are finished with every list, you will have a set of beads that represent your composite of privileges.
Activity
Today we will be engaging in an interactive activity regarding privileges. Remember:

-This is a SAFE SPACE and all opinions shared will be respected!

-Everyone is encouraged to participate in whichever way they comfortable.

-Others can learn from what you share!

Today we will explore ways that we enjoy privileges based on being members of social identity groups in the
United States.
Purpose
My Sandcastle is bigger than yours!
Nikia Bryant
Student Center/Student Activities
Graduate Intern

The exercise seeks to highlight the fact that everyone has SOME privilege, even as some people have more privilege than others.

By highlighting our various privileges as individuals, we can recognize ways that we can use our privileges individually and collectively to work for social justice.

The exercise is not meant to make anyone feel guilty or ashamed of her or his privilege or lack of privilege related to any social identity categories.
So WHY Privilege?
Full transcript