Leadership Inspirations Activities
Start to understand how power and privilege impacts the group
and the people we serve
Type Of 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.
SAMPLE DEBRIEFING QUESTIONS
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?