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Jeff Brown moderates a fishbowl discussion discussing why it's uncomfortable for them to talk about privilege… what they're doing to be aware of / combat racism… and the role of empathy and NVC around privilege.

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Dian Killian, PhD and Mary Mackenzie

Video

1 hour, 22 minutes

Join Dian Killian and Mary Mackenzie for a provocative fishbowl discussion about how privilege and lack of privilege affect women.

Join Alan Seid for a provocative fishbowl discussion about how privilege and lack of privilege affect men.

Join Roxy Manning for a provocative fishbowl discussion about how privilege and lack of privilege affect people of color.

Join Jeff Brown for a provocative fishbowl discussion about how privilege and lack of privilege white people.

Some people in the NVC community consider the words "privilege" and "power" triggering and/or evaluative. From this perspective, how can the concepts of "privilege" and "power" be considered part of the NVC teaching? This writing piece examines the power and privilege debate. It also discusses what the author sees as Marshall Rosenberg and Gandhi's stance on the subject...

When supporting someone with less privilege, first check with them how you can support. If you're reacting more strongly to their undesirable experience than they are, this then shifts the dynamic so that they're setting aside what they want to attend to your feelings and needs - this may become work that they didn't sign up for. Read on for what to do instead to support more equity.

When we have privilege, we can have access to resources resulting from legal or social norms related to membership in a group -- independent of any (in)action, awareness of the disparity, the potential benefits to us, or the costs to others. Unhelpful ways of engaging with privilege are: denial/invisibility, guilt/shame, defensiveness, and entitlement. Helpful ways of engaging are: owning...

Working on social justice and racial equity? If you include attending to white culture and privilege as part of that work, you'll reap important benefits. Understanding white culture — along with its embedded historical privileges — provides valuable insight into a larger system of inequity.

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Article

8-12 minutes

"Privilege" has many meanings, which can bring confusion. Here are questions essential to navigating challenges in NVC community about "privilege": How to call attention to times when language is used to divide and not connect? Where are people coming from when they say "privilege"? How to focus on using whatever language supports the depth of connection we seek with the heart of the people in...

There's the real need. And then there's the privilege that’s offered as a substitute for it. Privilege substitutes support the existing structure of society. It can look to us as if giving up the privilege would amount to giving up everything -- if we don't believe the real needs can even be experienced. If we connected directly to the needs, we could become subversive, agents of change.

How do we address historical and present challenges regarding the invisibility of privilege and power? What can we do, especially if we are people with privilege, to transform these conditions? However challenging these kinds of situations are, and whatever our position, we can move towards more inclusivity by learning and doing significant inner and outer work.

Understanding how our brains operate in relation to power, privilege and status is important if we wish to build a world that works for all. This article gives an overview of the brain tendencies we have in relationship to groups, and provides remedies to counteract the automatic labor-saving devices of our human brains (which often prevent us from seeing the fullness of others, and our own,...

Whether we have more or less power and privilege, anything without liberation for all is within patriarchal separation, and will continue cycles of oppression. To liberate ourselves and one another we need to increase our collective capacity through developing related knowledge, skills, research; build an understanding of patriarchal roots; confront lovingly; co-hold dilemmas about privilege;...

Instead of allocating resources based on needs, we cling to having more money or privilege than others because its close enough substitute for our deeper longing. We may cling to narratives that seem to legitimize this inequality as something we deserved -- such as earning it; having more talent or ability; or needing more for company growth. This soothes our discomfort of having more than...

Whether privileged or not, its not easy to see the humanity of others in different social locations, especially if their actions have unwanted impacts and have left behind our humanity. Aiming for “both sides hearing each other” empathically, and to focus on effect rather than intent when we have more privilege, may theoretically lead to liberation. Yet, in practice it can reinforce rather than...

In groups, relationships and society we may not want to dominate or take away from others’ access to power, to choice, to participation in decisions, nor to shaping the vision and direction of the dynamic. And yet how do we do it anyway without knowing it? Discover how privilege operates on a societal level and becomes so invisible in groups. Learn why the conversation is usually excruciating...

What is it that we are taught we can’t have, and what is it that we are encouraged to pursue instead? This guide could help you see through what's hidden behind the curtain of our societal conditioning.

When a person of color (A.K.A. a person from the Global Majority, or GM) tells a marginalization story that triggers a defensive response from a white participant in a group, to foster awareness and healing, leaders can address the white person's distress with empathy, highlighting the common dynamic of prioritizing white pain. From there, leaders can offer GM participants opportunity to share...

Working for racial justice is a shift in perspective—a shift in understanding and empathy that leads to a change in our actions: to listen instead of talk, to follow instead of lead, to yield rather than dominate. And to accept that I will continue to mess up. Part of working to undo racism is having the humility to know when our own understanding is limited. Read on for more this, and how it...