Sponsored Programs Participates in DEI Event “Privilege for Sale”

The Sponsored Programs DEI Committee hosted an activity called, “Privilege for Sale” at their February all-staff meeting.

The Finance Sponsored Programs Department gets together for a  “Quarterly Conversation” to celebrate anniversaries, connect to the research purpose by highlighting projects via line of sight discussions, participate in educational activities, and share updates. 

This quarter, the Sponsored Programs DEI team (Kristie Beckon, Chris DeVries, Jenna Fitzgerald, and Ariona Kalaj) facilitated a “Privilege for Sale” activity. “Privilege for Sale” was designed to spark a dialogue about implicit biases and the different privileges, or lack thereof, that people have regardless of which identities they may hold. 

Sponsored Programs team members engage in the “Privilege for Sale” group activity

The department broke into groups and had 10 minutes to decide which privileges to “purchase” with the predetermined amount of money granted to them. “Our group didn’t have enough money to buy certain things and wanted to know who we could talk to about getting more resources,” Jeanne Haney, customer service lead, said during the group debrief. Some groups were given more money than others to convey that privilege is often inherent and beyond our control. The DEI team plans to continue to unpack everybody’s thoughts and reflections at future meetings! 

After attending the event, Brian Smith, associate vice president for finance, said, “I always look forward to Sponsored Programs meetings as a combination of good information, good discussion, entertainment, and creativity. The “Privilege for Sale” was an excellent activity to make you think, discuss, and grow.”

Debrief questions during the activity encouraged participants to engage with concepts like “privilege” and “social identities.”