Power and Privilege of Whites

Mar 14, 2013 by

The AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers are serving in schools that are culturally and racially diverse. Wisconsin schools are becoming increasingly diverse, therefore multiple opportunities for training are provided that help the volunteers better serve the schools and communities in which they are placed. This is one strand of information for this year’s 17 Wisconsin VISTA volunteers.
Here you will find a variety of  resources for VISTAs about the topics of power and privilege. Understanding the implications of both are important for your work as VISTAs. Not only should you examine the kind of privilege you bring to your site but also how power is distributed among the families, community members, and students you work with. The VISTA project encourages VISTAs to think about power and privilege in the context of race, gender, socio-economic status, to name only a few. Certainly what follows is not an exhaustive list of resources, but it should offer some good information and places to begin learning.  Suggestions for material or links to add to this page are welcome!
“The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn.” 
–Gloria Steinem
What is Privilege
Blog about issues that stem from privilege
YWCA Racial Justice
Page for the Madison YWCA Racial Justice ProgramsSpeech by Mayor Booker of Newark NY
Responds to Governor Christie’s proposal for a referendum about civil rights for gays

Used in the VISTA Power and Privilege training
Take an online test to learn about your personal bias
An excellent series by PBS which has many online tools, information, and interactive activities
This website offers “Professional development, research, and resources for diversity, multiculturalism, and cultural competency.”
*Also, check out the excellent EdChange handouts and publications sections
A website dedicated to education topics, curriculum, books, and resources
A project of the Southern Poverty Law Center.  “A place to find thought-provoking news, conversation, and support for those who care about diversity, equal opportunity, and respect for differences in schools.”
An annual conference about all topics related to power and privilege
Blog about “the intersection between race and pop culture.”
CREATE Wisconsin (Culturally Responsive Education for All: Teaching and Enhancement)
A collaborative effort between educators, state leaders, and community members to provide resources, professional development and training on culturally responsive education. CREATE seeks to ask the following questions: “Why don’t students from diverse backgrounds achieve at the same level as their peers” and “Why are students from diverse backgrounds enrolled in special education more often than their peers?”


Examining Teacher’s Beliefs About African-American Male Students in a Low-Performing High School in an African-American School District By Marvin Lynn

New York Times Book Review By Linda Gordon of The History of White People

Courageous Conversations About Race By Singleton and Linton

Report Finds Racial Gap in College Graduation Rates at Wisconsin Schools By Sharif Durhams

Colorblind Approach with Young Children: Focus on What Makes us Similar By Researchers from Northwestern and Stanford and Tufts

Racism in K-12 Public Schools: Education Series By Jessie with the Racism Review

Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs Between Whites, Blacks and Hispanics By Rakesh Kochhar, Richard Fry and Paul Taylor

Deeply Embarrassed White People Talk Awkwardly About Race; Please Don’t Stop Reading this Story About Race Just Because You are not Racist By Jen Graves

A Wealth of Whammies for Youth in Poverty By Paul Gorski

A Framework for Understanding Ruby Payne By Anita Bohn



Only for My Kid: How Privilege Parents Undermine School Reform By Alfie Kohn



Power and Privilege Song Playlist
2011 Power and Privilege March Training Power Point


Fist Stick Knife Gun By Geoffrey Canada
Savage Inequalities by Jonathan Kozol
Letters from Black America by Pamela Newkirk
Courageous Conversations About Race By Glenn Singleton and Curtis Linton
African American Lives with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
African American Lives 2 with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Waging a Living
And of course, check out the Book and Video Shelf for other recommendations!

Power and Privilege – The VISTA Hub.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Related Posts


Share This

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.