Friday, January 04, 2008

I hate diversity trainings

I had a diversity training with my AmeriCorps group today. Honestly, I really dread diversity training these days. Particularly since my group was composed of 22 white people, and me and an African American girl. Also the training was titled "White Privilege" which I don't really feel I need to know that much more about. Particularly since it doesn't apply to me. Mostly I dread diversity trainings because they're either really great, or they make me want to kill people. It's a topic I really care about, and it bothers me when someone doesn't get it right.

Anyway, we did this exercise called "Playing Field" it's one of those take a step forward, take a step back etc. etc. So naturally, almost everyone is up in the front. And guess who ended up almost into the closet at the back of the room? Yours truly, the African American girl, and the queer, nontraditional college student.

I've done this particular activity before, but usually in a more diverse group. This time, it was kind of a downer. Like being picked last for the baseball team kind of.

On the up side though, it was kind of a bit of a bonding moment for the three of us. I suspect class plays a bit more into it here rather than race. But I would guess that all three of our parents including mine, are a lot less wealthy than the rest of the participants' parents were. Given how I act, I have a feeling the other two didn't really know that. But as one of them said, it made a lot of sense in some ways. I always sensed I had more in common with the two of them than the others.

So the moral of the story is that my oppression-dar is working well?
To work on Saturday!

1 comment:

Factorial said...

I ended up alone and at the back of my AmeriCorps team when we did one of these. Ours was definitely class-based, or at least because the only POC on my team is pretty white-identified, it became so. But where I really fell away from everyone else was when the queer questions started coming.

I also left with a horrible feeling because of it. But mostly I wanted to scream NOW DO YOU GET IT to all of my teammates.

Of course they still don't. Was progress made? I don't know. Mostly I think that everyone I work with is incredibly sheltered. It's very... yeah. AmeriCorps, in this respect, is exactly what I knew it would be, going into it, and yet I still find myself disappointed.

(They're like Reedies, only stupid.)