Match each statement to the racial–ethnic group it describes.

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Home > Resources & Publications > Resources & Podcasts > Diversity & Social Justice > Social Justice Understanding Race and Privilege

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Across the country, children of all backgrounds are experiencing a time in which discussions about race, sex, sex identification, sex-related orientation, religion, and also culture are at the forefront of their daily stays. Many human being prevent these discussions because they fear that conversations around race, predisposition, and racism bring about feelings of anger, guilt, discomfort, sadness, and at times disrespect. The existing state of our Union, however, no much longer permits for these hard conversations to be ignored. While uncomfortable for some, college psychologists are in a place to lead or at least get involved in these conversations. By making use of their expertise and also field of expertise of systems-level readjust, college psychologists have the right to facilitate the dialogue to lug about positive, fertile outcomes.

You watching: Match each statement to the racial–ethnic group it describes.

This document is component of a collection of resources occurred by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) in response to current acts of racial violence and also the significantly uncivil discourse emerging across our nation. It is vital for college psychologists and also other educators to understand the historical and contemporary conditions that have actually led to many type of of these violent acts, and others’ reactions (including violence) to these occasions. NASP seeks to aid colleges and families engage in constructive dialogue about privilege, prejudice, power, and also the means that all of us deserve to work-related together to change the conversation from hate and violence toward expertise and also respect to ultimately lug around positive readjust and unity to our neighborhoods.

Background Information

In today’s Amerihave the right to society, each of us has actually an identification that forms exactly how we see ourselves and also others. Not just perform our social standards and cultural underpinnings affect our experiences, they additionally collection the course for how we watch the human being. Differences in identity—and also associated battles for area and also power—are wstove throughout our background and social and political society. In reality, while diversity is a hallnote and also toughness of our nation, the path toward widespread ground, mutual respect, and equity has actually been rocky for nearly every spiritual, racial, and ethnic group that has actually end up being component of the Amerideserve to cloth along the means. The same is true for teams established by particular experiences and also characteristics, such as sex, sexual orientation, and disability. In many type of respects, though, the disattach in identification and also suffer between White Americans and also those of nonmajority backgrounds is deeply linked in our many difficult difficulties, such as poverty, disenfranchisement, isolation, inequity, and also violence, and also it isn’t fully feasible to attend to these issues without also addressing this truth.

The Role of Privilege

For many kind of members of the majority culture (i.e., those that determine as White) in the USA, being made conscious of one’s classification as attached to privilege is most likely not a common or welcomed endure. Without a doubt, many human being have never been asked or required to reflect on their own privileged condition, and in regards to racial identity, doing so could feel uncomfortable or even discordant with the prevalent narrative regarding social and also political transforms over the years. For instance, White Americans may attach the principles of progression toward ehigh quality or being “color blind” as mitigating privilege. As an outcome, many type of White Americans either may not be mindful of or may stop considering how sindicate being White confers distinct standing or experiences, perhaps to the detriment of others. While many type of Americans might not view themselves as privileged bereason of their economic or social standing, the benefit of being in the majority racial team is real, even if regularly surprise.

Consider straightforward life activities such as shopping in a save without the fear of being adhered to or buying or renting a house in an area that you have the right to afford without consideration of your race. This basic disconnect can both motivate and exacerbate the racial/cultural divide in the USA due to a absence of awareness of exactly how privilege contributes to the realities of racism. Peggy McIntosh (1990), in her essay “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”, composed, “I realized that I had actually been taught about racism as something that puts others at a disbenefit, however likewise had actually been taught not to watch one of its corollary aspects, White privilege, which puts me at an benefit.” Importantly, although privilege is frequently linked just through wide range and/or financial status, it applies much even more broadly. Privilege can be assigned to populaces within a group, such as athletes, individuals perceived as attrenergetic, individuals who attain greater levels of education, or membership in particular religious groups. Loosely identified, privilege contains the complying with elements.

Unearned advantages that are highly valued but restricted to specific groups. Unearned benefits are those that someone receives by identifying or being born right into a certain group. It is crucial to note that the groups that have received these advantages have actually not earned them as a result of their own difficult work however quite their affiliation (e.g., being born right into a affluent household gives privileges that others perform not have actually, such as accessing education and learning and mental health and wellness and also medical services; White Americans are even more likely to walk right into a mall without the suspicion of stealing). Equally necessary to note is the truth that while some advantage from unearned benefits, others are victims of unearned disadvantage. Unearned entitlements are things of worth that all world should have; yet, they are frequently minimal to particular teams bereason of the values of the majority culture that influence political and also social decisions. The instance listed below illustrates this idea.

Example: John (a boy) is regarded to understand science much better than Jane (a girl). Although John and Jane are both in the same scientific research course and also have the same qualities on their assignments and exams, bereason he’s a boy, John’s viewed premium understanding of science can come to be useful if he (fairly than Jane) is motivated to sign up with science clubs. Over time, John’s participation in miscellaneous scientific research clubs might cause receiving much better grades in scientific research and enhance his chances of being welcomed right into even more rigorous and competitive classes and also programs later.

Privilege oppresses specific teams. As explained by Wildmale and also Davis (1995), Members of the privileged team obtain many type of benefits by their affiliation through the dominant side of the power mechanism. Privileged advantage in societal relationships benefits the holder of privilege, that might receive deference, special expertise, or a greater comfort level to overview societal interaction. Privilege is not visible to its holder; it is simply tright here, a component of the people, a way of life, ssuggest the method things are. Others have a lack, an lack, a deficiency.

Privilege exists as soon as one team has something of worth that is denied to others simply because of team membership and not based upon what a perboy or team has actually done or failed to execute (Johnchild, 2006). For those that routinely benefit from privilege, the difficulty is to not easily deny its visibility. It is vital to identify that privilege is a component of the reality that helps some while it impedes others’ experiences. For example, although being female or a perkid of shade does not necessarily straight identify an end result, these features have the right to quickly and also quickly make these individuals much less most likely to be hired, well-known, or rewarded in a selection of instances.

Privilege is problematic (a) when it skews our personal interactions and also judgments and also (b) when it contributes to or blinds us to systemic obstacles for those who carry out not possess a particular privilege, thereby producing or perpetuating inequity. In Amerideserve to society, certain groups have actually the privilege of operating within settings—through no effort on their part—that are even more conducive for their success, while others—with no fault of their own—find themselves in settings that make success even more tough (Miranda, Boland, & Hemmeler, 2009). Aobtain, this concept describes any type of benefit that is unearned, exclusive, and socially conferred. For example, through White privilege, White people are generally assumed to be law abiding until they present that they are not. On the various other hand also, civilization of color, in certain African Americans and also Latinos, are routinely assumed to be criminals or potential criminals until they show that they are not (Johnboy, 2006).

The Effect of Privilege in Schools

In schools, privilege-based prejudice plays out in many type of means but perhaps the majority of acutely in technique. Macintosh (2014) refers to the disproportionate disciplinary outcomes in schools and the importance of evaluating implicit predisposition in the conmessage of fragile decision points that are highly prone to individuals’ unmindful bias. Unconscious bias at its core speaks to absence of awareness of—or literally not thinking about—interior biases as soon as engaging in disciplinary practice. Such unconscious predisposition is most likely the outcome of individuals’ past experiences, consisting of absence of expocertain to specific students (i.e., ethnic minorities). When adults that are functioning via young people make rapid decisions, the data imply an increase in the likelihood of disproportionate disciplinary techniques that unfortunately continue to perpetuate the stigma of perceived criminal actions from African American and Latino students.

As practitioners continue to develop and thrive in their own self-awareness, the potential to change the present outcomes watched in disciplinary methods is promising. Lindsey, Robins, and Terrell (2009) imply that culturally knowledgeable educational leaders should connect in the following:

Assess one’s very own cultureValue diversityManage the dynamics of differenceAdapt to diversityInstitutionalize social knowledge

These techniques enable culturally competent educational leaders to identify their own social worths, norms, and also expectations, while enabling them to collaboprice via students, staff, and households from other cultures. These interactions support the administration of problems that might aclimb as a result of cultural differences. Adapting to diversity argues embedding equitable methods in classroom management, instructional practices, and social–emotional discovering. Finally, institutionalizing social expertise speaks to indeveloping institution plans that are equitable and also supportive of all students.

Self-Reflection Questions

Wildman & Davis (1995) explain that “the lives we lead influence what we are able to check out and hear in the people about us.” As such, a critical first action to knowledge the principle of group-based privilege and how it deserve to form peoples’ perspectives, experiences, and interactions is to research our own endure. We have the right to be the beneficiary of privilege without recognizing or consciously perpetuating it. Learning to view one’s very own privilege and that of groups and systems deserve to produce a vital pathmethod to self-discovery. Some inquiries to take into consideration are listed below.

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When was the last time you had actually to think about your ethnicity, race, gender identification, capacity level, religious beliefs, and/or sex-related orientation? What provoked you to think about it or acknowledge it?When watching TV or a movie, just how most likely are you to watch reflects whose personalities reflect your ethnicity, race, gender, capability level, religion, sex identification, and/or sex-related orientation?When utilizing social media, exactly how diverse is your feed? How diverse are your friends and followers? How diverse are those that you follow?How do you respond once others make negative statements towards individuals of a various ethnicity, race, gender, ability level, faith, sex-related orientation, and/or sex identification than yourself?How often do you go to social settings wright here the majority of people are of a various ethnicity, race, sex, capacity level, religion, sexual orientation, and/or gender identification than yourself?How diverse is the area in which you live?How carry out you feel once you are in a area that is various than your neighborhood?How would you make your neighborhood more inclusive and also sensitive?If you recognized your privilege, what did you do through this realization?

Suggestions for Talking to Others About Privilege

Engaging in thoughtful conversation through people of various other backgrounds is necessary to knowledge privilege. Prior to the conversation, ask participants to review Peggy McIntosh’s short article, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” or “Waking Up White” by Debby Irving.

Start by stating just how privilege looks in our culture and which groups have privilege and which execute not.

The first conversation need to be about privilege, in basic, in America and the factors some teams have actually privilege and also others do not. This lays a structure before tailoring the conversation and might aid participants be less defensive.Next off, ask participants to talk about examples of exactly how they are privileged and just how they are not privileged. Listen to the methods in which a perboy legitimately does and also does not have privilege and validay any type of frustrations that are expressed, especially prior to providing your opinion or perspective. The discussion about areas in which participants have not proficient privilege is wright here the a lot of empathy might be found.Be certain to listen twice as a lot as you speak.

Stress that privilege is loved one to each individual’s lived suffer.

The degree to which individuals endure privilege have to be framed within the context of their own race, sex, capability level, religious beliefs, sex-related orientation, and/or sex identification coupled with the communities in which they live, job-related, and also play and also the persons via whom they connect.

Recognize that having actually privilege does not require feeling guilty for your privilege.

Since each of us likely has an facet of privilege within our make-up (ethnicity, sex, capability level, faith, sex-related orientation, and/or gender identity), individuals require not feel guilty for their privilege.Rather, the emphasis must be to usage our privileged positions to difficulty the systems in which we live. Specifically, challenge yourself and also others to refusage to live in a device of unchecked privilege. For example, difficult school staff members to walk the course their students take to institution each day is a tiny however systematic step toward helping them to identify and understand also their privilege in relation to the students they serve.

Determine and sell methods to difficulty systems of privilege and oppression in your own life.

If someone mentions an oppressive pattern that relates to privilege (e.g., “Men constantly conquer conversations and also talk over women because they are taught that their voices are even more helpful.”), consider just how you will not take part in this pattern. For example, you might say much less or be aware of how often you are speaking and also start to listen more while others are speaking.


Understanding and engaging in self-reflection and also discussions about privilege is an important step to addressing individual and also systemic inequities in our culture. We must be mindful of and honest about our individual perspectives and also just how these might or may not contribute to biases that subsequently may contribute, also unpurposely, to prejudice, inequity, isolation, poverty, and also violence. Schools current a perfect conmessage for helping to overview conversations and discovering methods for students. (See NASP’s leschild setup for middle and also high institution students, “Talking About Race and also Privilege” for extra specific guidance.)


Related NASP Resources

“NASP Statement Regarding Recent Acts of Violence”:

“Racism, prejudice, and discrimination,” NASP position statement:

“Talking about race and also privilege: Lesboy setup for middle and high institution students,” leschild plan:


“10 children’s publications that assist White children understand what children of color are up against,” Romper blog post:

“Confronting White Privilege,” Teaching Tolerance short article, /number-42-fall-2012/feature/confronting-white-privilege

“Reresources for stating police violence, race, and racism via youngsters,” Education Week blog post:

The Pathology of Privilege: Racism, White Denial & the Costs of Inequality, Media Education Foundation video:

“White privilege: Unpacking the invisible knapsack,” monograph by Peggy McIntosh: Priviledge Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.pdf


Courageous Conversations About Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools, 2nd Edition by Glenn E. Singleton

Waking Up White by Debby Irving

“Why Are All the Babsence Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” And Other Questions About Race, 5th Anniversary Revised Edition by Beverly Daniel Tatum


Johnson, A. G. (2006). Privilege, power, and also difference (second ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Linsey, R. B., & Terrell, K. N. (2009). Cultural proficiency: A hands-on for institution leaders (third ed.). Thousand also Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Miranda, A., Boland, A., & Hemmler, M. (2009). Understanding privilege in America. In J. M. Jones (Ed.), The psychology of multiculturalism in the schools: A primer for exercise, training, and research (pp. 67–82). Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.

McIntosh, K. (2016). How deserve to we mitigate racial disproportionality in school discipline? . Retrieved from: /IB intro 45 min 2016-2-9h.pptx

Tomes, Y. I. (2013). Cross-social interactions and also understanding. Poughkeepsie, NY: NOVA.

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Wildmale, S. M., & Davis, A. D. (1995). Language and also silence: Making devices of privilege visible. Santa Clara Law Review, 35(3), 881–906. Retrieved from: /lawreview/vol35/iss3/4/

© 2016, National Association of School Psychologists, 4340 East West Highmethod, Suite 402, Bethesda, MD 20814, 301-657-0270,

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National Association of School Psychologists. (2016). Understanding Race and Privilege . Bethesda, MD: Author.