Privilege walks, an exercise currently taking major American universities by storm, are meant to teach students “how certain ‘privileges’ place individuals ahead of others.”
According to Campus Reform, students “stand in a straight line in the middle of an empty room” while a moderator tells them to step forward (bad) or backwards (good) based on a list of arbitrary statements:
If your ancestors came to the United States by force, take one step back.
If there were more than 50 books in your house growing up, take one step forward.
If you ever felt unsafe because of your sexual orientation, take one step back.
If you believe that you were denied employment because of your race, gender, or ethnicity, take 1 step back.
If you can legally marry the person you love, take one step forward.
If you were sexually active with several people and it would improve your social reputation in other people’s eyes, take 1 step forward.
Both the University of Iowa and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill are scheduled to hold privilege walks to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. later this January.