Common Expressions of White Privilege and How to Counter Them

Ilsa Govan, Caprice Hollins


When facilitating workshops about the social dynamics of racism and privilege, it is important to remember that those dynamics are always in the room and can trigger responses in both the participants and the facilitators. Skilled facilitators not only recognize expressions of white privilege and counteract them, they also use these instances as an opportunity to grow the understanding of workshop participants. In this article, we will share several ways we’ve seen white privilege manifest itself in workshops and strategies we’ve used to successfully deepen, rather than shut down, the conversation. Topics covered include dominating the conversation; reframing or invalidating the experience of people of color; valuing the product over the process; believing that logic, reasoning, and linear thinking do not involve emotion; being agenda bound; and distancing oneself from other white people.

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