Harvard plans 'mandatory power and privilege training' for poli-sci students

The administration at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government has agreed to work with a student group to implement a “mandatory power and privilege training” as part of its orientation, according to several reports by the group.

“We have exciting news to share — the administration has officially expressed its desire to collaborate with us on designing a privilege training component for Orientation week for every HKS degree program!” states a post on the group's Tumblr page.

The post also states that the group, which calls themselves ‘Speak Out,’ will meet with the Dean some time this week to secure funding and “make sure this training is institutionalized across school.”

Although the exact stipulations of the training have not yet been determined, earlier posts on the page reveal what kind of topics the group expects the privilege-checking training to cover.

“A mandatory power and privilege training that examines components of race, gender, socioeconomic class, sexual orientation, ability, religion, international status, and power differentials for every incoming HKS student starting August 2014,” it states.

The post also claimed that this mandatory training was absolutely necessary for anyone seeking to be a leader in public policy.

“The exercise of public leadership … requires an honest assessment of structural power dynamics, of in-group and out-group dynamics, and of privilege,” one of these posts states.

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