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Talking About Inequality

Article

Inequality in microcosm

For their Action Project “Talking about inequality,” Tess Luttikhuis and Annelie Boeren developed a short program to discuss inequality in Dutch society with 28 first-year secondary school students in Tilburg. They used an interactive game in which the participants are assigned profiles that illustrate how they are privileged and underprivileged in different ways. Pupils were not aware of this at the beginning of the game. Throughout the game, pupils experienced – in microcosm – what inequality is and how discrimination impacts both individuals and society. After the game, a dialogue is facilitated to relate different game elements to the world outside of school. Through the game, complex societal challenges, such as racism, islamophobia, socio-economic inequality and sexism can be addressed in a constructive manner.

Tess: “I realized that I initially assumed that racism, when compared to the Netherlands, was much more of a problem in other countries.”

Intersectional perspective

Civic engagement is integral to the Humanity in Action Fellowships. After the four-week on-site program, Fellows realize an Action Project, applying their newly acquired insights, knowledge, and skills to promoting democratic values in their communities. With this Action Project, Tess and Annelie wanted to discuss the theme of inequality using an intersectional perspective with a group that has not yet been asked to reflect critically on the issue of inequality.

Imagination

Tess and Annelie are both confident that they can have a great impact by discussing the problem of inequality by appealing to young peoples’ imagination. During the implementation of their Action Project, they were both impressed by the personal examples that pupils shared with each other and how they were able to link these to inequality that is experienced in everyday life. Tess and Annelie plan to play the interactive game with more audiences in the near future.