When we think about who we are as individuals, we can’t separate our unique life experiences from the larger societal context in which we exist, specifically as it relates to race, class, and other social group memberships. This module examines how oppression and social injustice play out in American society and its institutions, including philanthropies. It is designed to help you explore how our own privilege(s) affect our experiences and relationships, especially in contrast to the experiences of other groups without privilege in the United States.
- You will understand what social justice and privilege are in the context of oppression in the United States.
- You will be able to reflect on your own experiences around privilege and how racial privilege in particular has affected your life so far.
- You will explore the dynamics of oppression and better understand the experience of other racial and ethnic groups in the United States.
Reading & Resources
“Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh
Excerpt from Community Tool Box: “Healing from the Effects of Internalized Oppression”
Watch NY Times video: “A Conversation About Race with White People“
Listen: “Opening the Question of Race to the Question of Belonging”
Watch videos on systemic racism by Race Forward.
- This module intersects with the topics explored in the Philanthropy 101 module (Module 1). After you have a solid understanding of privilege and oppression, you will be able to make connections between Social Justice 101 and Philanthropy 101 modules to explore how privilege can position you to act philanthropically and how your commitment to advancing social justice might introduce new questions about how you’ll practice philanthropy.
- At minimum you should read “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh.
- This module is recommended for the beginning of your journey.
- You will be provided with a variety of resources by your facilitator based on the level of familiarity you have with social justice concepts. The McIntosh article introduces the concept of privilege in an accessible way, while the Community Tool Box excerpt engages you even further in how dynamics of privilege and internalized oppression unfold. The New York Times video and Race Forward podcast recommended in this module are excellent resources if you are interested in learning more and using multimedia resources as a way to hear these concepts delivered in a different way.
- For the first couple of modules, you may be assigned pre-readings. All of the readings included in this toolkit can be excerpted, and the exercises were designed if you have various levels of depth depending on where your group is starting.