“If you don’t have to think about it, it’s a privilege.”
Increasing our awareness of the privileges we hold presents us with opportunities to find out where we can intervene.
The privilege beads activity is an introductory exercise that can be helpful for raising our awareness of those things that we take for granted, by the very nature of the fact that we don’t have to think about them in our daily lived experience.
If you’d like to do it yourself, here’s a write-up with the instructions, statements, and materials. It can be adapted to include a variety of identities. You start with a string or band, and you travel around to each of the identities and, for each statement that is true for you, you pick up a bead and add it to your string. when you’re done, you tie the string to make it a bracelet.
I take something new away every time I do it. I recently participated in the exercise and wanted to share a few sample photos of the statements to give you an idea of how it could look.
The act of gathering, and wearing a physical representation of the privileges we carry around everyday; those things we take for granted, can bring us closer to accountability.
From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins-Jones