US

University Students To Hold Mandatory Power Flower Anti-Oppression Training For Third Year

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Grace Carr Reporter

University of Pennsylvania students who tutor young kids in a creative writing program will again require all members in the private tutoring club to take a class on oppression.

At the start of every school year, UPenn students in the “Write On!” private club must attend a workshop spearheaded by Sonny Singh who teaches the mandatory anti-oppression workshop. Singh describes himself as an activist and educator and relies on a “power flower” diagram which outlines how petals can intersect and overlap to create power structures.

The purpose of the flower diagram is to get “students to think through all their multiple identities and reflect on the access to power and privilege they have based on who they are,” Singh said according to Campus Reform.

The goal of the workshop is to “connect students’ own lived experiences to thinking about systemic oppression,” through a three-pronged program with aims to share social justice language, reflect on how privilege affects their work in the tutor program, and examine how various forms of oppression might exist within the parameters of the program.

The training focuses on creating scenarios that students might encounter and how those situations might call on the Penn students to respond differently than they might normally otherwise do in their day-to-day life.

The club’s mandatory training program — which began in 2006 — will be required in 2018 and in the foreseeable future according to its director.

Public colleges are also paying thousands of dollars for mandatory diversity training, according to a Sunday report. Colleges across the nation are paying thousands of dollars for online diversity and inclusion training for students and faculty, according to The College Fix. Central Washington University and Virginia Tech paid $22,075 and $41,600 for the trainings, respectively.

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