Let’s Talk About Privilege

What You'll Learn

  • Understand the role of race, gender, sexuality, religion, and class in daily life and crisscrossing systems of discrimination or disadvantage.
  • Develop strategies to deal with the awkward nature of conversations about privilege and feelings of defensiveness or guilt.
  • Discover activities that planners can use in their organizations or communities to further the discussion of privilege.

More Course Details

The AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct directs planners to "seek social justice by working to expand choice and opportunity for all persons, recognizing a special responsibility to plan for the needs of the disadvantaged and to promote racial and economic integration. We shall urge the alteration of policies, institutions, and decisions that oppose such needs."

How do planners help their communities become more equitable and just? It's easy to say "don't discriminate," but how do planners confront discrimination without talking about its flip side: privilege.

One side of discrimination is that someone is suffering from an unearned disadvantage. The flip side is that someone is benefitting from an unearned advantage. These are difficult conversations that can make people feel uncomfortable, uneasy, defensive, or guilty.

This course examines the role of planners in such conversations and how we can guide such conversations in constructive ways. Get strategies for avoiding pitfalls and observe activities that can help people understand their own and others' lived experiences.