“Rich people don’t get their own ‘better’ firefighters, or at least they aren’t supposed to.”
Peggy McIntosh (born November 7, 1934) is an American feminist, anti-racism activist, scholar, speaker, and Senior Research Associate of the Wellesley Centers for Women. She is the founder of the National SEED Project on Inclusive Curriculum (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity). She and Emily Style co-directed SEED for its first twenty-five years. She has written on curricular revision, feelings of fraudulence, and professional development of teachers. In 1988, she published the article "White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women’s Studies". This analysis, and its shorter version, "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" (1989), pioneered putting the dimension of privilege into discussions of power, gender, race, class and sexuality in the United States. Both papers rely on personal examples of unearned advantage that McIntosh says she experienced in her lifetime, especially from 1970 to 1988. McIntosh encourages individuals to reflect on and recognize their own unearned advantages and disadvantages as parts of immense and overlapping systems of power. She has been criticized for concealing her considerable, personal class privilege and displacing it onto the collective category of race.
Definitely want to read her Invisible Knapsack work.
With Dr. Nancy Hill, McIntosh co-founded the Rocky Mountain Women’s Institute, which, for thirty-five years, annually gave “money and a room of one’s own” to ten women who were not supported by other institutions and were working on projects in the arts and many other fields.
Another example of Virginia Woolf’s idea being put into practice in the wild. (I added a link to the Wikipedia page to make it more obvious.)
We are an alliance of trainers, organizers, and institutional leaders who have devoted ourselves to the work of creating racially equitable organizations and systems. We help individuals develop tools to challenge patterns of power and grow equity. Join us today.
Over the last week I’ve been skirting a significant conversation begun by Maha Bali (“I don’t own my domain, I rent it“) and continued by Audrey Watters (“A domain of ones own in a post-ownership society“). Never far away is Andrew Rikard’s Edsurge post “Do I own my domain if you grade it?”
The question for me is how the idea of “own” works as a metaphor. It’s complicated enough as it is: my own, to own, owned, owned. We own our mistakes, we own our work, we own our politics, and none of this is quite like the way we own our homes—which for most of our working lives means some version of renting, in a funhouse world in which access to credit, like debt itself, has become an asset.
Conceptually, home ownership makes an ironic pass at all this, promising dominion over property that is actually quite a temporary thing in geohistorical time. Home ownership offers a misleading sense of permanence in relation to our provisional space in the world. A home that’s owned is always haunted by both its past and future. Far from sheltering us against the churn of things, it’s a daily reminder that we’re not here for long.
An interesting piece about ownership and the web.
I’ll try to say more about these ideas which have been swirling about the #EdTech space for a bit, but I thought I’d outline a few bits before I forget them.
- 9/10 of the law is about ownership
- Commons is an interesting framework, but perhaps is an outmoded concept given that the majority of ownership is now either private, corporate, or governmental. Commons is now generally part of governmental ownership now rather than the older versions of what commons used to be. We need some oversight, management, and support for the governmental portion now. Perhaps Hacker’s book has something interesting to add here.
- No one is taking the next step to say that either government or educational institutions should be footing the entirety of the bill for marginalized students. Why? Again Hacker et al may have something interesting to say here.
- The analogy of ownership to things like houses is fine, but it’s still only that, an analogy to help people more easily think about an abstract idea about which they’ve not got direct knowledge. What about the lack of “ownership” we get from “free” services like Twitter and Facebook? Recall the example of an editorialist saying roughly that we (rich, privileged Americans) shouldn’t leave Facebook because it will potentially damage service to third world groups which then wouldn’t have anything. (include citation). What does all this look like 10 years hence when more people have direct knowledge and we no longer need the “house” ownership model?
- What could be added to the discussion at the IndieWeb’s longevity page?
- Considerations of evolving complexity and mashups found in examples like When Ideas Have Sex.
- Considerations from Why Information Grows (C. Hidalgo) and the creation of value in links as well as the evolution towards larger knowledge entities.
- The future is already here, it’s just unevenly distributed. The same could also still be said about the Industrial Revolution which is still slowly coming to rural third world countries. Recall that it was only until the early 1900’s that the vast majority of people in the world were subsistence farmers.
Carlos is a brilliant student from South Los Angeles. He attends an exclusive private school on an academic scholarship. He is the kind of person the American meritocracy is supposed to reward. But in the hidden details of his life lies a cautionary tale about how hard it is to rise from the bottom to the top—and why the American school system, despite its best efforts, continues to leave an extraordinary amount of talent on the table.
Eric Eisner and students from his YES Program featured above. Photo credit: David Lauridsen and Los Angeles Magazine “Carlos Doesn’t Remember” is the first in a three-part Revisionist History miniseries taking a critical look at the idea of capitalization—the measure of how well America is making use of its human potential.
Certainly a stunning episode! Some of this is just painful to hear though.
We should easily be able to make things simpler, fairer, and more resilient for a lot of the poor we’re overlooking in society. As a larger group competing against other countries, we’re heavily undervaluing a major portion of our populace, and we’re going to need them just to keep pace. America can’t be the “greatest” country without them.
University of Michigan students Griffin St. Onge and Lauren Schandevel have published an online guide that anybody can edit called "Being Not Rich at UM." It's a Google Doc about navigating the costs of college that has grown to more than 80 pages.
The two juniors were inspired to create the guidebook after their student government published its own guide about "cost-effective" living at the university, which St. Onge, a first generation college student, found out-of-touch. Its suggestions included skipping weekly manicures and opting to do your own laundry instead of using a service.
"I didn't really realize the culture of Michigan before coming here," she says. "I had been warned about it a little bit, but I had never met the kind of wealth that some of the students have here by the time I came to university."
Schandevel and St. Onge decided to take matters into their own hands.
This is the first kind of financial aid that schools should be providing… It’s not that difficult and is a simple resource to open source and advertise widely. For first generation and low income students I imagine that it’s the type of resource that they should put into acceptance packages to improve their yields. In fact, honestly, it’s the type of resource that students of all income levels should be given to help make them better and more rounded students and people.
For decades, Americans have believed that the best way to end racial inequality is to end class inequality. But a landmark 30-year study is debunking that logic.
On today’s episode:
• Emily Badger writes about cities and urban policy for The Upshot, The New York Times’s data-driven venture.
• William O. Jawando worked in the Obama administration on My Brother’s Keeper, a mentoring initiative for black boys.
• Extensive data shows the punishing reach of racism for black boys.
Is there no humanity left in the world? The more I see and hear of the world, the more I want to remove the positive connotation that the word humanity is frequently assigned.
This story is both very powerful and painfully depressing for me, and yet I know there are many that are still far worse. I hope we can find something in these statistics that can help drastically improve the paying field.