An exercise creating awareness and reflection on own and other’s prejudices.
In the group discussions, it could be sensitive to admit to certain things, so this exercise may be good to introduce after the group has been together for a while.
Required Material: paper and pen, and a blackboard or whiteboard if key words are to be written on the board for the group.
Do the activity in plenary with the help of the board – and the reflection in smaller groups, so they have a chance to discuss.
Get everyone in the group to write on paper what they think or associate (explain what is meant by association) with these words or other words you find more relevant in your context.
• HIV positive
Take one word at a time and ask participants what they associate with it and why they tie these associations to this word.
What did each group discuss/do? The facilitator can highlight points of interest or discuss choices that the groups made.
• What is it that makes us think / associate as we do?
• Where do our associations come from?
• What does ‘labelling’ someone mean? • How do you think it is to be labelled?
• What does labelling cause?
• How can we avoid labelling others?
Thank everyone for their participation, summarise what was learned.
Some prejudices are unavoidable, everyone has them, and there is nothing wrong with this. However, it is important to be aware of one’s own prejudices and be ready to challenge and overcome them.