Participants Discuss Privilege at Coffee House

Fifty people joined in small table discussions at the most recent Coffee House Discussion to delve into the topic of race and privilege. Some people came after having attended the Conversations on Race earlier this spring at which a panel of thought leaders on this topic spoke. Some joined though our Meet-Up group, and others through word of mouth. Many participants–especially a strong contingent from Columbia High School–voiced how important this topic is to a community where many have an ostensible acceptance of diversity but fail to appreciate the racism faced by people of color here regularly.

Participants engaged in a few exercises to get their table conversations started, including a reading through definitions of racism, intentionality, and erasure. The tables had a good racial, gender, and generational mix that provided for a range of perspectives.One of the themes that arose is the connection between power and racism and the difference between prejudice and racism. Participants also addressed this discussion question: What does it mean to have privilege? They were then were asked to name ways that they can use their own privilege(s) as allies.

Thanks to the Maplewood Memorial Library for letting us use the meeting space. Thanks to the Coffee House committee–David Harris, Joel Herbert, and Dagmar Hobson. If you have ideas for future Coffee House Discussions, let us know by submitting them on our Contact Us form above.

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