Privilege Beads

green beaded necklace
Whether we know it or not, we carry them around every day.

“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


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Relando Thompkins-Jones

I'm a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities. "Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian" is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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