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Spiritual Preparation, Workshop 4: Whiteness and Privilege

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

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 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?
  • Where and when did you notice white privilege in your day-to-day life this week? If you personally experienced White (or light skin) privilege, did you notice when and how it manifests in your daily routines? If your experience is through the lens of a racially or ethnically marginalized group, when and how did you note the impact of White privilege in your life?

Read the explanation of "aesthetic journaling" in Activity 2, and spend some time doing your own aesthetic journaling creation about White identity and White privilege. Reflect on the following questions and write or draw in your journal:

  • What story are you telling?
  • What questions or wonderings do you now have about the work you've created?
  • What did you want to create but could not accomplish?
  • What would you like to explore in the future around this idea?

Be fully aware that the concept and reality of White privilege often triggers anger, shame, denial, and resistance, especially among those who identify as White or of European descent. Remind yourself that race-based privilege is not necessarily sought or enjoyed by those who are its beneficiaries. Prepare to lead this workshop by affirming your intention to help participants learn and practice skills that will enhance their ability to engage in multicultural dialogue and relationships.

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

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Last updated on Friday, July 20, 2012.

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