Privilege

Strategies for Exploring Privilege: Helping Individuals and Communities Achieve Their Potential

Privilege consists of unearned advantages that are conferred on individuals based on membership or assumed membership in a dominant group. People may receive privilege due to their status as White, male, heterosexual, or able-bodied, to name a few. Lack of awareness of privilege impedes our ability to achieve our potential as individuals, communities, and a society. Helping professionals and educators are in an ideal position to help individuals and groups explore privilege. When and how is it appropriate for practitioners to help clients explore privilege? What challenges arise helping people who identify with target identities explore privileged aspects of their experience? What strategies for exploring privilege can be applied in individual and group contexts? This session will describe the construct of privilege, elucidate the costs of privilege, and identify barriers and strategies for helping individuals and groups explore privilege. Participants will have opportunities to reflect on their personal and professional experiences and develop their abilities to help others explore privilege.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Define the construct of privilege
  2. Explain psychological and societal costs of privilege
  3. Reflect on ways in which privilege affects them personally and professionally
  4. Describe barriers and strategies for helping individuals and groups explore privilege
  5. Apply strategies for helping individuals and groups explore privilege