Privilege Literacy: Why we Need to Know About the Effects of Power, Privilege and Status to Live Nonviolently
Our brains make patterns out of everything to save effort. But this has consequences on both how we treat others and on our ability to live nonviolently. The more we know about our own patterns, the more choice we have. Read on to learn our most important tendencies in groups, and what we can do in response.
The existing unequal risks and impacts people of certain race, class and identities face in society is magnified in these strenuous times -- especially with things such as illness, financial well being, discrimination, attacks, and death. As responsive NVC practitioners we can stand in solidarity with those who are differentially impacted. Read on for this, and additional ways to spot common pitfalls of doing so.
Amidst racial violence, there are things that NVC can offer. And there are places where NVC culture needs to be more vigilant. Here are examples of where, amidst incredible loss and pain, "allies" and communities commonly (and often unknowingly) create false equivalences, minimization and re-injure those who've been historically marginalized -- even when they offer empathy, or aim to stay "safe". Read on to cultivate greater understanding and ways to respond differently.
"All humans share the same needs" -- tragically, this idea can hide the reality that some people with less power in society have needs that go unmet to a greater extent, much longer, and with more dire consequences. Often, when the marginalized bring up experiences related to their membership in a certain group, their pain isn't acknowledged, and focus shifts to the listener's discomfort. The concept of universal human needs can be used to silence and minimize their pain. Read on for how to proceed.
Working on social justice and racial equity? If you include attending to white culture and privilege as part of that work, you'll reap important benefits. Understanding white culture — along with its embedded historical privileges — provides valuable insight into a larger system of inequity.
Join Jeff Brown for a provocative fishbowl discussion about how privilege and lack of privilege white people.