The Honors 120 class had the opportunity to host a Privilege Walk for the students and faculty of Concordia along with CHUSA (Concordia Hmong Unity Student Association) and UMOJA (United Minds of Joint Action). This took place on a Monday night and was open to all students. Participants were asked to line up in a straight line across the room. Statements were than read off by Dr. Chatman, vice president of the university, and participants stepped either forward or backward depending on how the question impacted them. After a few question Dr. Chatman would ask the participants to look around and see who they were around. The event ended with participants spread around the room. The visual representation was powerful and moving. Afterwards there was a debriefing session where we sat in a circle and talked about how the event made us feel.
This semester we are focusing on “hearing the voices of the marginalized” which is why we took part in leading this event. This event is the pinnacle of what we have been studying. The disparity among different racial groups was very evident once people started stepping back and forth. Our class has been discussing for months what we might see in the privileged walk and why these things may be.
I enjoyed the fact that we were able to observe the kinds of marginalization that we had been talking about in class. It confirmed that what we were talking about in class was relevent to our world, especially here at Concordia. In the debriefing we talked about how, now that we are more away of the disparities between groups, we are able to make a change.