White Privilege

White Privilege includes the unquestioned, unearned, most often unconscious, advantages, entitlements, benefits, choices, assumptions and expectations bestowed on white people based solely on membership in the culturally dominant, white group. To those who have it, privilege is often invisible. Guilt, shame, denial and defensiveness often accompany the first recognition and acknowledgement of one’s privilege. White privilege is a powerful tool to dismantle racism, if white anti-racists learn to spend their white privilege with integrity, challenging racist structures, attitudes and institutions.

Sample Objectives

  • to foster a common language and perspective regarding racism and white privilege
  • to define, identify and acknowledge the personal experience of white privilege
  • to deepen awareness of the ways racism, granted and internalized white privilege impact individuals, institutions and society
  • to examine common detours and setbacks faced by white anti-racists
  • to share and strategize personal, institutional and community-wide anti-racist actions
  • to support and encourage the lifelong commitment to anti-racism  


This one to three day workshop is designed for up to 30 white people who have had previous racial justice training. 

Sample Agenda (for a one day version)

  • Opening (with reading & journaling)
  • Working assumptions, current conditions & propaganda (lecture/discussion)
  • “The Four Faces of Racism” (handout & didactic)
  • “Identifying our white privilege” (fishbowl exercise)
  • “I Did It My Way” (interactive, triad exercise re: personal experience of privilege)
  • “Detour-Spotting for White Anti-racists” (interactive triads, based on essay)
  • Next Actions: Working Sessions (small working groups)
  • Wrap-up
  • Final journaling
  • Closing

Racial Justice Programs

All Program Topics

The main insight I had was how I take for granted my own privilege based on race and class.

—White privilege participant

Throughout the workshop, jona skillfully balances great humor and understanding for the complex and personal subject of racism. In their evaluations, graduates often choose to describe the workshop as simply, “…a life changing experience.” And we can assure you, it is.

—Westminster Presbyterian Church brochure

White privilege is granted to me whether I want it or not. I have no choice about it being granted to me. I do have a choice about how I spend it. I can spend it mindlessly, colluding with the racist system, OR I can spend it with integrity as a tool against racism.

—jona olsson