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Month 3

What is Privilege?

Month 3 Challenge

Privilege is the unearned social, political, economic, and psychological benefits of membership in a group that has institutional and structural power. Having privilege means you have fewer barriers to overcome to be successful. There are many types of privilege that different groups have in the US. We commonly hear about privilege because of race or gender, but privilege also exists for different groups based on religion, sexuality, ability, class, education level. Read more about 5 common types of privilege.

As we continue to explore the different types of privilege and levels of equity, it is important to think about “intersectionality”, introduced by Kimberle Crenshaw, and how it connects. Intersectionality is a lens for seeing how aspects of a person’s identities and various forms of inequality often operate together and exacerbate each other.

Please choose one or two of the below activities to engage with for 15 minutes this week, and if you have time, we encourage you to complete more.


Take this eye-opening privilege self-assessment by Buzzfeed to discover where you are on the spectrum.



Watch this short, powerful Buzzfeed video featuring a privilege walk. See how privilege shows up differently for this group of co-workers. Note: this video may be triggering for some people of color.



Read as University of Illinois students share experiences of social injustices and on-campus discrimination in the university’s Daily Illini.



Watch this video from Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility about how racism isn’t only individual acts of discrimination, it is a deeply embedded system that impacts all of our lives.

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