Tag Archives: anti-oppresive

Please, Step Forward

4 Feb

Imagine you are a student in a class.

You are asked to answer questions regarding your culture.

You are given a sheet of statements, which you scale from 1 to 5.

The higher your score, the higher you felt like you feel accepted in society, regarding your culture.

A low score meant you were more inclined to not feel accepted in society, regarding your culture.

You have a lower number than anyone at your table.

You are asked to write that number on a sheet of paper, and then arrange yourselves in the class from lowest to highest.

You stand on the low side, not the very lowest, but there are many people higher than you.

You are then asked a series of questions, and if you agree you step forward.

How many people are male?

You stay where you are.

How many people are female?

You step forward.

How many people have more than one degree?

You stay where you are.

How many people have immigrated to Canada?

You stay where you are.
(It is important to note that one person in the room steps forward)

How many people are aboriginal?

You step forward.
(It is important to note that you are one of two people in the room to step forward)

There are no more questions.  You sit down at your table.

Hold up.  Lets rewind 5 seconds, to just before you were asked this question.

In the milliseconds before you step forward you ask yourself a question.

Am I going to step forward?

You decide you have two options.

1) You step forward and you tell everyone who you are.  There could be looks, you could be the only one, you could hear whispers… who knows. It could change how people respond to you in class. You will be defining yourself as “The Other”.

2) You don’t step forward.  You might not feel comfortable with everyone in the class, the trust isn’t there. You lie about who you were.  You feel guilty.  You feel like you are being ashamed of who you are.  No one else will know though, and no one can judge you.  Except yourself.

What do you choose?


The most important question to ask in this scenario is should you have been placed in a situation like this to begin with?
During school… in a class?

Would we do this with our students?