The Privilege and Identity Project is a collaboration between two educators, a high school teacher and a college professor, whose aim is to provide information and guidance for high school teachers who wish to be able to understand, discuss, and promote diversity and equality education across race, gender, sexuality, and social class. Central to our project is the role that “privilege” – both overt and covert – plays in ordering interactions in everyday life. This project was funded by a grant from the E.E. Ford Foundation through University School of Nashville.
This project included two major goals. First, recognizing that there are a multitude of sources in the academic and virtual world – some empirically validated, others not well-founded – we seek to provide sources, exercises, and ideas for teachers of high school that are supported by the extant research literature. In other words, we are interested in providing conceptualizations and thoughts that are more than sensational or timely. Rather, we want to offer information that is supported in the research literature, in the experience of caring high school educators, and at the appropriate level necessary to “stretch” and challenge (but not alienate) high school age students.
Second, we wish for this site to be a place where educators from a variety of types of schools can come to find information that is ready to use, but that also can be shaped to meet the needs of their particular student body. We hope to have put together the types of materials that both teach and encourage students and their teachers to add their own voices to important discussions about privilege and how it relates to race, gender, sexuality, and social class. Whether introductory or as a launching pad for deeper discussions and collaborative classroom exercises, our emphasis has been to assemble materials that avoid judgement and enable and inspire students and their teachers to pursue broader understandings of privilege across race, gender, sexuality, and social class.