This website is a curated resource center for people who want to increase our capacity in the following areas:

Banner on Unity Church – Unitarian in St Paul, MN
  • Gaining a deeper understanding of how privilege works structurally and how it’s different from individual attitude and behavior
  • Becoming aware of how the system of privilege affects those who have it and those who don’t
  • Engaging productively with our own access to privilege with the intention of mobilizing it for the benefit of all
  • Making ourselves available to feedback from those who don’t have the privilege we have, so we can notice and subvert the dynamics of privilege wherever we are: in our communities, workplaces, families, friendships, and social change circles.
  • Acting in solidarity with those who don’t have our privilege
  • Confronting lovingly and reaching the hearts of those who have access to privilege and who may not have awareness of privilege or its effects.

What Is Privilege?

On some intuitive level, we all have a sense what privilege means. Yet, the use of the word, in the US in particular and probably in other places as well, is charged and often brings up controversy. Because of that, we invite you to read the following article as a starting point if you are entirely new to this topic.

You’re Not a Bad Person: How Facing Privilege Can Be Liberating

Philosophy

This website is an attempt to “marry” two bodies of knowledge:

  • Critical analysis of systems and structures, and especially the recognition that where we are placed in society — in terms of access to resources and in terms of how much the needs of the group(s) we are part of are prioritized or not in society — affects the possibilities we have for attending to our needs, for understanding life, and for relating to self and other.
  • Nonviolent Communication (NVC) principles and practices, most especially the understanding that any action taken by anyone, regardless of its negative effects, is motivated by core human needs that are shared by all.

In other words, this website addresses two complementary questions: What happens to critical awareness when it finds the unwavering faith at the heart of NVC? And what happens to NVC when it’s taken out of the more habitual interpersonal context within which it mostly has operated in the last 20+ years and when its lens is applied to issues of power, privilege, and social structures?

How to Use This Website

This website was created, with no paid support, in April 2017. It is an ongoing work in progress. As time passes, more content will be added, and finer categorizations will emerge.

For now, we have the following categories:

About — more information on the people participating in this project

Writings on Privilege by Miki – blog posts and other relevant articles that Miki has written over the years

Other Resources on Privilege – articles, websites, and videos on the topic of privilege

Events – upcoming events other than the Facing Privilege calls which are consistent with this website’s philosophy

Vignettes from the calls – short transcriptions from the calls, without names

 

Contributing to This Website

Although this is not a wiki, you are more than welcome to submit recommendations for inclusion on this site. Given that there is essentially no budget for maintaining this, please review the site carefully to rule out the possibility that what you want to recommend is not already posted here.

Please send all submissions to privilege@baynvc.org