2019 National Planning Conference

Let’s Talk About Privilege

Sunday, April 14, 2019 from 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. PDT

CM | 1.50
E | 1.50

Activity Type: Educational Sessions

Activity ID: NPC198103

Location: 2016

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  • Understand the role of race, gender, sexuality, religion, and class in daily life and the crisscrossing systems of discrimination or disadvantage.
  • Develop strategies to deal with the awkward nature of conversations about privilege and the feelings of defensiveness or guilt that come with understanding the role of privilege in our society.
  • Discover activities that planners can be use in their organizations or communities to further the discussion of privilege.


The AICP Code of Ethics directs us to “seek social justice by working to expand choice and opportunity for all persons, recognizing a special responsibility to plan for the needs of the disadvantaged and to promote racial and economic integration. We shall urge the alteration of policies, institutions, and decisions that oppose such needs.” How do we as planners help our communities become more equitable and just? It's easy to say “don’t discriminate,” but how do we truly confront discrimination if we do not talk about its flip side, privilege. One side of discrimination is that someone is suffering from an unearned disadvantage. The flip side is privilege, when someone is benefitting from an unearned advantage. These are difficult conversations that can make people uncomfortable, uneasy, defensive, or elicit feelings of guilt. This session examines the role of planners in such conversations and how we can guide such conversations in constructive ways. Get strategies for avoiding pitfalls and observe activities that can help people understand their own and others’ lived experiences.

This session qualifies for 1.5 Ethics CM.

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Session Speakers

Bonnie J. Johnson, PhD, AICP
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS

Cade W. Hobbick, AICP
STV Incorporated
New York, NY

Lindsey W. Lyles, AICP
School of Public Affairs and Administration, University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS