Peggy McIntosh, one of my personal role models and an all-around great thinker, pioneered the idea of a privilege list. In her short essay, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, she introduced the idea that people who are White are always carrying with them an “invisible knapsack” that is filled with resources, guides, maps, blank checks, and other helpful tools that make life easier for them. And further, the idea that members of different races are born with different knapsacks, or sets of tools, they have at their disposal.
Expanding on her idea, below you will find lists I’ve written that share the contents of several other identity groups’ invisible knapsacks. The goal in creating these lists is not to shame members of privileged groups, but rather to make cognizant in their minds the privileges with which they were born in a hope to increase their ability to empathize with individuals who were not so fortunate.