What is Privilege?
Privilege is defined as inherent social, political, economic, and psychological advantage or access based on membership to a certain group. Privilege exists in many forms and can be based on a variety of factors, including race, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, age, religion, or socioeconomic status. Often, those with privilege can be completely unaware that they have it while benefiting from that privilege.

Some examples of privilege include:
While privilege isn’t a fundamentally bad thing, it’s important to recognize our own privilege and how we benefit from it.
  • In the article “The Truth About Privilege” La Toya Stevens discusses white privilege, who has it, what it means, and what we can do with it.

  • “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh identifies how the author benefits from white privilege in her day to day life. The article goes on to provide several steps for those with privilege as they interact with people of other races.
  • Watch this short, powerful video featuring a privilege walk. See how privilege shows up differently for this group of co-workers. Sensitive: this video may be triggering for some people of color. (3:59 mins) 

  • The MTV documentary “White People” discusses what it means to be white and includes Whatcom County discussions and footage. (41 mins) 
  • Listen to this NPR piece entitled “'Lean Into Discomfort' When Talking About Race.” (9:44 mins) 
  • Take this BuzzFeed quiz entitled “How Privileged Are You?”