Leadership Inspirations Activities

Privilege Throw

Start to understand how power and privilege impacts the group
and the people we serve


20-30 minutes

Team Stage

Storming, Norming

Type Of Activity

Experiential Activity


Scrap paper, recycling bin or bucket



Privilege is a difficult topic to tackle. This activity will help to ease a group into the topic in an innovative and approachable way.



  • Have group members spread out and place themselves around the room. Once they have chosen a spot, they can’t move from that spot.
  • Place the recycling bin the middle of the room.


  • Distribute a piece of paper to each participant and have them crumple the paper into a ball.
  • The goal of the activity is simple, group members must throw their own pieces of paper into the bin while staying in their spots in order to win.
  • In order to increase the stakes of the activity, you may announce that there is a prize for whoever gets their paper into the bin successfully. The prize can be anything, it is only used to help demonstrate inequality in the activity.
  • Facilitator Note: The activity typically results in the participants who are closest to the recycling bin being the most successful, simply because of their proximity. Many participants will see this as 
  • This activity requires a structured debrief in order to be most effective. You may want to discuss topics such as fairness, power, privilege, inclusion, equality, or equity.


  • Lead multiple rounds – allowing group members to choose a new spot, switch places with someone, help each other, negotiate with the facilitator,  or as the facilitator you may choose a new location for the bin each round.
  • Add layers of privilege by giving some participants multiple pieces of paper to try to throw into the recycling bin.


  • What was the goal of this activity?
  • Did your group do well? What could have improved?
  • How did your group make decisions? Was it effective or ineffective?
  • How did your group manage conflict that arose?
So What?


  • What are you currently accountable for as an individual and a group? Who holds you accountable?
  • What is effective accountability? Are our methods as a group effective?
  • What role do you play in your own accountability and the group accountability?

Inclusion & Involvement

  • What does it mean to be inclusive or exclusive?
  • What did we do as a group that was inclusive? That was exclusive/not inclusive?
  • Why is inclusion and involvement important for our group?


  • When has your group worked well together in the past? When have they not worked well together?
  • When has (something that happened in the activity) happened in the past with your group?
  • What habits or actions make a successful or effective team? What are your group’s opportunities for growth when working together?
Now What?
  • What does this activity tell you about the strengths of your group? The areas for improvement?
  • What’s one commitment each person can make?
  • What are three lessons the group has learned that they can continue to work on?
  • How can we implement these lessons in our school/organization?
  • What can you do differently moving forward?