March 13, 2013
Has political-correctness gone too far?
In Wisconsin, volunteers in AmeriCorps are encouraged to cope with their “white privilege” by wearing a white bracelet, while reminding themselves to examine their status in society and talking with ‘friends of color’ to encourage their transformation.
CNS News reports:
Wisconsin’s VISTA Program Encourages Volunteers to Overcome White ‘Privilege’
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) wants its white VISTA volunteers who work with low-income, racially diverse public schools to examine the “privilege” their Caucasian race confers on them.
DPI devotes an entire Web page to “Power and Privilege,” including links to racial justice workshops and online tests where VISTA volunteers can “learn about your personal bias.”
One “diversity” document linked to DPI’s Web site suggests that white people “wear a white wristband as a reminder about your privilege, and as a personal commitment to explain why you wear the wristband.”
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! >>> View recommended resources and seminars
From the Beyond Diversity Resource Center: