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Spiritual Preparation, Workshop 5: Problems and Promises of Unearned Privilege

In "Building the World We Dream About," a Tapestry of Faith program

I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else's freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken away from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity. — Nelson Mandela

Take a few minutes before leading this workshop to consider how unearned privilege accrues in your own life. Read Handout 1, White Privilege. If the concept of privilege is new to you, pay attention to what you think and feel as you read through the list. If the concept is not new to you, recall how you felt when first introduced to the concept. Consider how White privilege operates in your life. If you are White, what benefits does being part of a culturally privileged group afford you? If you are a Person of Color or are marginalized by race or ethnicity, what disadvantages are connected with being part of your racial or ethnic group? Be fully aware that the concept and reality of White privilege often trigger anger, shame, denial, and resistance, especially in those who identify as White or of European descent. Hold each person in your group in thought and/or prayer before leading this workshop.

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Last updated on Saturday, December 10, 2011.

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