E4E: TACKLING SYSTEMS OF PRIVILEGE
Tackling Systemic Privilege and Oppression
In our Cultural Mindfulness workshops we are often asked by young professionals hoping to become better allies to people of color in general and Black people specifically, for examples of Systemic Oppression or Institutional Racism. The question at times is asked by people who question whether there still remain solid examples of these things in the current time, outside of the more outrageous representations of White Supremacy from the Alt - Right. In our three day workshop we provide a list of 40 - 50 things that are current and past examples of systems that reinforce the privileges of white people and serve to marginalize all non white people. Obvious things like slavery, the Tuskegee Experiment, Mass Incarceration, the War on Drugs, Colonialism, the Wealth Gap, the Education Gap, ... I mean the list is long, but at times may seem too broad. For those who have been historic victims of these systematic practices, recalling these historical things can be painful reminders of ways we have been defeated. Many of us have become numb to the way policies, laws and cultural practices have been used to marginalize or criminalize our existence.
It is our contention at Edutainment for Equity that institutional privilege and oppression remain key characteristics of many of the organizations and programs we inherit, the models we follow and the practices that we learn in our path to become professionals. We have decided that over the course of this summer we will highlight some of these contemporary examples in a running column in this newsletter called "Systems of Privilege". We hope these examples add to your arsenal as an agent for social change.
According to the Wall Street Journal, May 21 2019 Many More Students Especially the Affluent Get Extra Time to Take the SAT. Affluent communities for decades have been deemed “eligible for extra time or another accommodation such as a separate room for taking the SAT or ACT college entrance exam”. In some affluent predominantly White Public Schools it was found up to “1 – 3 students were afforded this type of accommodation”. This advantage leads to increased opportunities to attend college, increased access to higher end colleges and increased exposure to broader and more wealthy life opportunities.
Dismantling white supremacy and systems of inequality requires a constant examination of how these systems were created, who they were made to benefit and how that benefit has led to wealth and inequality over time. Establishing equity means confronting these injustices, dismantling these systems, replacing them with more equitable ones, and providing reparations to those who were victimized by those systems in the past. As we discover how white and wealth privilege has been inherited and maintained we begin to account for that injustice, and move forward on the path to peace. Edutainment for equity is committed to providing professional development and consulting that moves organizations, institutions and businesses further along the continuum to equity and justice.