Kansas City couple creates privilege walk to help keep social issue discussions moving

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February 07 2021 05:30 pm
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As Black Lives Matter protests continue across the country, people in Kansas City want to keep the conversation about social issues going.

Two people, along with their friends are doing that by setting up what they call a privilege walk in Hyde Park.

They describe it as an interactive chalk piece to demonstrate privilege by moving forward and backwards.

“The idea behind it being that we bring some of the ideas of the protests and Black Lives Matter movement and just systemic racism to your neighborhood,” Co-creater Kelly Clay said.

The privilege works by taking a piece of paper. There’s a series of questions, for example, if English is your first language, you’ll take one step forward. If your ancestors were forced to come to the United States not by choice, take one step backward.

“Privilege can take a huge number of shapes. Everybody has it to some degree and everybody doesn’t have it to some degree,” co-creator, Nathan Sindelar said. “This is just a way to get people thinking about other lives they might not encounter everyday.”

The creators hope to bring awareness to other social issues. After participating, some people don’t believe in the concept.

“I think you get what you work for. If you want more things, you should be willing to work for those things,” Alex Thompson said.

As you walk down the sidewalk, you reach the names of people killed recently by police. Then there’s a timeline of events that starts when the U.S. abolished slavery. It ends with George Floyd’s death.

“I think it’s really educative and if people keep an open mind, they stand to learn something,” Amani Starnes said.

“It was a way to get people engaged with some of these ideas in kind of an organic way, as they’re walking through the neighborhood,” Sindelar said.

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