Workshop Games: Power Flower

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Time required: 60 mins

Equipment required: paper, writing utensils

Age range: 14+

Intention: To define our belonging to various social identity groups. To define positions of power and powerlessness within each social identity group.

The Power Flower is a visual representation of social identity. In the first part of the workshop, participants will define elements of their own social identity within several, given categories. Then, they will assign positions of power to social identities in each category as represented in our society.

Room setup: Small groups sitting around tables

Role for small group leaders: SGLs will participate by drawing their own Power Flower and helping to clarify instructions if participants require further explanation. SGLs will lead the second part of the workshop and then start reflection with their small group.

Introduction: Before beginning the activity, the facilitator will explain to participants that social identity is:
1. Not always chosen, but given by birth and through socialization; and
2. Above all, concerned with power relations
When we talk about social identity, we are then talking about our experience with privilege and disadvantage, dominance and oppression, power and powerlessness.

Part 1: Ask the participants to draw a small circle in the center of the page. Next, ask them to draw seven circles around the center circle, like a flower: Explain that the center represents you, the individual, and each of the outside circles represents a different social identity group that you belong to. Acknowledge that there is a variety of social identity groups that could be included. Depending on the make-up and comfort level of the group, select seven from the following list:

1. Race / ethnicity
2. Sex
3. Gender
4. Sexual orientation
5. Religion
6. Class
7. Ability
8. Immigration status
8. First language
10. Size

Ask students to label the flower petals and inside each petal, write in their social identity for each category, e.g. white, black, Asian, Latino, Native American, etc. in the race / ethnicity petal. After they have completed this part, ask participants to stand up and go with their SGLs for the second part of the activity.

Part II: SGLs will take their groups and spread out in the available space. In this part of the workshop, students will explore what parts of their identity bestow them with privilege or disadvantage. The intention is to pinpoint power and powerlessness in our multiple social identities. Ask students to draw the outside petals of the Power Flower. Working with their small group, they will fill in these petals with the groups they consider to be dominant or privileged in society for each social identity category.

Download a print out of this activity.

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