April 22, 2014 | By Jozlyn Pelk |
Hello Seattleites! Guess what? I did it! I graduated this winter with my two degrees in Law, Economic, and Public Policy and Global Studies with a minor in Human Rights from UW Bothell. I am still on campus through the spring, working as part of the Achieving Community Transformation (ACT) team as a service lead that finds service engagement opportunities for students. In this role I am also in charge of organizing many service day events including MLK Day, Alternative Spring Break, and my newest creation Privilege Perspectives—a social justice focused activity.
The purpose of the Privilege Perspectives activity is for students to learn and recognize how power and privilege can affect our lives even when we are not aware it is happening. The purpose is not to blame anyone for having more power or privilege, but to encourage understanding by presenting facts and scenarios that each student has most likely encountered where privilege has affected their life in one way or another. This serves as a conduit to increase understanding of the intricacies around privilege, learn from the wisdom of people with multiple cultural identities and engage students in a multi-dimensional learning activity that offers an on-going dialogue outside of the classroom.
My main inspiration for creating this event for my campus was my experience as the first Seattle Ambassador. I reflect heavily on my experience in Guatemala and Nicaragua and the personal stories many individuals discussed with me. As I continue to grow and become more self-aware, I am constantly thinking about my personal privileges. I then think about how I can inspire others to recognize similar opportunities and privileges within my community.