Identifying Privilege and White Fragility


Download this resource to see full details
The purpose of this activity is to give students a better understanding of racial privilege by having them identify “White Fragility”— when the least amount of racial stress provokes emotional and behavioral defensive moves, such as anger or evasion. This activity assesses students’ comprehension of White Fragility and students’ ability to understand the impacts of privilege on understanding race relations. In Part I, students review group privilege and White Fragility through an instructor guided class discussion. In Part II, students form groups to complete a handout. Students use the handout to match ten triggers of racial stress to potential responses to such triggers. Finally, Part III has students write a critical reflection paper about the activity.


Resource Type(s):
Class Activity 
Brennan Miller, Kent State University 
Date Published:
Subject Area:
Racial and Ethnic Relations 
Class Level:
Class Size:

Usage Notes:

Download this resource to see full details
Usage Notes: This activity is best suited for a race/ethnicity course, social problems, or other courses that give significant attention to racial matters. To use this in a larger class, instructors can implement clickers for students to identify the racial triggers in connection with potential responses. The instructor can place the...

Learning Goals and Assessments:

Download this resource to see full details
Goal 1:
Students will be able to define White Fragility and three aspects of privileged groups (i.e. viewed as societal norm, can avoid objecting to oppression, and are not seen as holding privilege).
Assessment 1:
During an instructor led discussion, students will define and provide examples of privilege and White Fragility.
Goal 2:
Students will apply the triggers of racial stress by identifying potential reactions to corresponding triggers.
Assessment 2:
Students will complete a worksheet that will be used to assess their comprehension of the material.
Goal 3:
Challenge the tenets of privilege and White Fragility through self-reflection.
Assessment 3:
Students will write a critical reflection paper about how White Fragility and privilege relate to daily interactions of race relations.

Files for Download:

Right-click and choose "Save As..." to save file.
Miller - Identifying Privilege and White Fragility.doc