Feel Privileged? Diversity Lecture Raises Hard Question
Born on the south side of Chicago, Art Munin grew up in a middle-class neighborhood consisting of police officers, firefighters, and other laborers. A life of privilege? Depends on one’s perspective.
“If you have privilege, you are the least likely to see it,” Munin told students at the first lecture in the Diversity Lecture Series of the year.
Munin, who holds a Ph.D. in higher education from Loyola University Chicago, was raised in one of the most diverse cities in the country, but his surroundings were largely segregated by race. Being brought up in an area still grappling everyday with racism and discrimination is an experience he drew upon as he helped Trinity expand its conversation about diversity and social justice.
Part of that experience involved tracing his family line back to slave owners in Mississippi. He said that he discovered that his “current success is not the story” of his peers who are descendants of the slaves his ancestors owned and who still live on the adjacent property.
Munin extended a challenge to listeners to “be uncomfortable” and “stretch the limits” in order to recognize and understand privilege, then to talk about it, to raise questions in circles of friends, and to challenge the thoughts of family members.
At Loyola, Munin’s dissertation focused on Ally Identity Development of College Students at a Religiously Affiliated Institution. Additionally, he completed a Master of Arts in multicultural communications from DePaul University, a Master of Education from Loyola University of Chicago, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Eastern Illinois University.
The next diversity lecture will be led by Rev. Alexander Sharp, executive director of Protestants for the Common Good, on Monday, November 3 at 10 a.m. in the Grand Lobby.
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