Indiana University Bloomington is hosting an “interactive privilege simulator” for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, so that students can experience how having different “identities” can allegedly impact an individual’s life and opportunities.
In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Indiana University is hosting its annual IUnity Summit on January 21, where a “privilege simulator” will be available, offering event-attendees “an interactive, inspirational, and transformative diversity education experience,” according to the university.
“This year’s program will include an interactive privilege simulator that will provide participants the opportunity to gain perspective on how various racial, gender, socioeconomic, sexual orientation, religious, and ability-centered identities impact the lived experiences and opportunities of minoritized people and communities,” says the event’s description.
The director of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, Monica Johnson, told the Indiana Daily Student that they will turn the Alumni Hall into an interactive game board, modeled after the popular game, “The Game of Life,” also known simply as “Life.”
“Around the room will be various stations representing essential entities and systems within life,” said Johnson, “Housing, employment, education, finance, healthcare and the judicial system.”
Johnson went on to explain that the simulation will explore “power, privilege and systemic oppression,” according to Indiana Daily Student, adding that students will be given an “encrypted identity tag,” which they will then have to move forward and make decisions, based on and be instructed to move forward to make decisions and navigate each station as they see fit.
Johnson also mentioned that she hopes students will walk away from the event having a better understanding that “systemic oppression” exists, and how different identities can change or navigate around “forms of discrimination.”
“Although they are difficult to dismantle completely, it is our responsibility to disrupt these systems and advocate for transformative change,” added Johnson to Indiana Daily Student.
According to the university’s website, the IUnity Summit is meant to “spark meaningful conversations,” and reinforce their mission of “creating dynamic partnerships in economic, social, and cultural development,” as well as offering “creative solutions” for today’s “problems.”