Mirrors and Prisms: Refractions of Privilege in a Public School’s Fight for a Voice

Erin Connors


In the fall of 2015, the Asheville City Board of Education announced plans to undertake a restructuring initiative to accommodate recent significant growth in district enrollment, which is predicted to tax the district’s current physical capacity in the next three to six years. This paper explores the implications and manifestations of privilege in the unfolding of the restructuring conversation in Asheville, where progressive prioritization of equity and a liberal social justice mindset meet entrenched systems of racial and class privilege. Ultimately, the examination reveals the privilege of access to information that comes with membership in the dominant group, and in the conclusion I reflect on my own role in this system.


Board of education; Public school districts; Information access; Parent teacher organizations; District restructuring; Privilege

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