The College Democrats at Elizabethtown College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania are encouraging white students to wear white puzzle piece pins this month to open a dialogue about their racial “privilege.”
The Democrats hoped the puzzle piece campaign would get students thinking about race, The College Fix reported. Because the private liberal arts school is in a predominantly white region, the campaign specifically targets white students.
Aileen Aida, the president of the College Democrats, suggested that white people would uniquely benefit from campaign because white people experience more privilege than other races.
“Most people of color don’t have a choice but to consider how their race affects their life on a daily basis, this is not true for most white people,” Ida told The College Fix.
Ida would not cite specific examples of white privilege, but did say that not all whites are socioeconomically privileged.
“Discussions about race are often perceived as being only open to people of color, but I think it is just as important for white people to partake in conversations about race,” she said.
Take a quick glimpse of what our campaign will involve! pic.twitter.com/bH2EC1lILl
— Etown College Dems (@EtownCollegeDem) February 10, 2017
Lutheran Pastor Barb Girod initiated the puzzle piece campaign when she committed to wearing the pin for a full year. The Elizabethtown College Democrats described Girod’s commitment as a decision “to force herself to think about her white privilege and the impact white privilege has on people of color.”
Ida said white people were “continually allowing for a societal system of oppression to occur.”