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Project Humanities hosts free workshop on privilege

June 11, 2014

What does “privilege” mean? Why and how is it important? Arizona State University Project Humanities attempts to answer these questions at its upcoming "Perils & Perks of Privilege" workshop at 6 p.m., July 14, at the Pomegranate Café, 4025 E. Chandler Blvd., Phoenix.

The free workshop is a six-part series funded in part by Arizona Humanities and led by Neal A. Lester of Arizona State University and Yvette Johnson, Ahwatukee filmmaker and author. This particular workshop will feature special guest Allison Parker, a faculty member at South Mountain Community College who specializes in African-American literature, rhetoric and women and gender studies.

Each unique workshop uses interactive activities to explore the everyday manifestations of privilege, the unearned and often invisible ways in which society accommodates and disadvantages each of us simultaneously. Facilitators will also encourage participants to consider strategies for combating the systemic biases that result.

Although facilitators will be present to provide structure and maintain a safe, respectful environment, it will be up to the participants to influence the conversation with their own diverse perspectives. Participants will be encouraged to come to their own conclusions and propose their own ideas.

Lester explains, “This is not about shaming anyone or making anyone feel guilty. Rather, it is about personal and private self-reflection, such that we better understand the perspectives of others.”

The workshop is founded on the belief that every person both suffers and benefits from the various privileges assigned to certain categories of people. "Perils & Perks of Privilege" is not limited to the obvious privileges of gender, race and class, but extends to the able-bodied, the cisgender, the adult, the thin and others.

Project Humanities is an award-winning ASU initiative dedicated to encouraging meaningful community discussions guided by the principles of “talking, listening, connecting.” The group hosts and sponsors hundreds of free and public events every to year in an effort to raise important questions and perspectives among and across disciplines, cultures, professions and generations. Past events have included lectures, film screenings, circus performances, interactive painting and much more.

Interested parties should visit for program information and to access a growing database of resources on privilege.

For more information, contact Project Humanities at or 480-727-7030.