Empowerment, Advocacy, and Leadership Activity 1 taken from (http://berkstransition.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/activity1.pdf)
Description: In this activity, approximately 1/3 of the participants will be given a lollipop. Each participant with a lollipop can voice their ideas and are “empowered,” while people without lollipops do not have a voice and are seen as tokens.
Purpose: This activity can demonstrate the importance of empowerment and making sure that everyone is self-determined and has a voice.
Recommended Group Size: any size of group
Estimated time: 15-20 minutes
Activity Summary: As participants are being seated (or prior to the activity), hand out lollipops to every third or fourth person (after the activity others can also have the lollipops). Participants musts be informed that the lollipops are for an activity and to wait to eat them. In this activity, participants with lollipops are people with a voice, who are empowered, and whose ideas are seen as valuable; while the participants without lollipops are seen as tokens who are not seen as having valuable ideas. This activity is meant to demonstrate the importance of empowerment and establishing your voice.
Leader Instructions with a Draft Script of Directions:
. Below there are key words that should be included in the introduction and conclusion.
- Give lollipops to every third to fourth participant
- Clearly state that the lollipops will be used for the activity and that people can get lollipops after the activity
- Throughout the entire activity overly emphasize how smart, amazing, beautiful, etc. the group with the lollipops are while exaggerating how much the people without lollipops are not.
- Introduce the icebreaker
State that you will be discussing how to best assist youth with
disabilities with $1 million and want ideas from everyone
- As you get responses, emphasize how amazing the ideas are from the people with lollipops and how much “better” they are than the others
- The importance here is not the ideas or ways to spend money but rather to clearly show a bias for people with lollipops
~Concluding Points and Discussion Questions~
- After a few minutes of discussing ways to spend money end the discussion
- This activity wasn’t about deciding on money, it was about biases and not having your voice heard
- Who did we listen to? (answer: people with lollipops)
- We used a completely subjective and irrelevant quality as the determining factor of who we were going to listen to.
- Often people with disabilities may be seen as not having a lollipop and are therefore not listened to.
- What did it feel to not be listened to?
- How did you feel about the people who do have lollipops? Were you mad at them? Did you feel betrayed? Did you feel separated from them or that somehow you felt connected to other people who like you did or did not have a lollipop?