MIT PKG Center Presents: Power, Privilege, Positionality and Systems Change

MIT’s Priscilla King Gray Public Service Center (PKG Center) presents a three-part series, Power, Privilege, Positionality and Systems Change. The series will examine the causes of systemic power and privilege and will teach participants about effective means of mapping personal and social efforts towards change.

Part I: Thursday, Aug. 6, 4:00 – 5:30 pm:
In this portion, we will focus on questions like:

  • What is a system? Why do folks say that many social issues are “systemic” and why does that complicate our efforts to change them?
  • What is privilege? How can privilege be invisible, and who is Peggy McIntosh? What is her “invisible knapsack”?
  • How can we think about our identity, both holistically and as individual parts? How can those parts help us understand our power and privilege?
  • How do we relate our own identities to the power systems that we are attempting to live within?

Part II: Thursday, Aug. 13, 4:00 – 5:30 pm:
In this portion, we will focus on questions like:

  • Building on part 1, how do we now define power and privilege? How might identities define that differently?
  • What happens when you take a moment to really think about your privileges, in a systemic manner like a privilege checklist?
  • How can understanding your individual privileges open your eyes to the “ice berg” of oppression that exists, under the surface?
  • How can we as individuals show up for others as a bystander? What must you prepare for? How do you know if intervening in a situation is the best for you?

Part III: Thursday, Aug. 20, 4:00 – 5:30 pm:
In this portion, we will focus on questions like:

  • How complex is the “systems of oppression” framework? How do we make sense of a world where racism, ageism, homophobia and so many other “-ism’s” are impacting us everywhere?
  • How does that complexity really play out in the real world? Who is Carlos Ghosn?!
  • How can social change take shape? What actions do you have at your disposal?
  • Let’s map out your change efforts!
By MIT Sloan CDO
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