On the final day of the week long service project in New Orleans over spring break students gathered in the gymnasium, formed and line, held hands and silently responded to the following prompts:
- If you were raised in an area where there was prostitution, drug activity, etc., take one step back.
- If there were more than 50 books in your house when you grew up, take one step forward.
- If you ever had to skip a meal or were hungry because there was not enough money to buy food when you were growing up, take one step back.
- If you attended private school or summer camp, take one step forward.
- If you were ever stopped or questioned by the police because of your race, ethnicity, or gender, take one step back.
The focus of the week was how the Gospel is good news in the area of racial reconciliation. It was a room full of students from many different backgrounds: ethnic, political, socio-economic, and spiritual diversity. This exercise put the politically charged word "privilege" in context and as students who started holding hands were forced to separate. The exercise demonstrated that not everyone had the same opportunities or challenges.
The week was full of challenges, but at the end students who ended the exercise at the front of the room understood just how much they had and they saw how privilege can be used to help others. Those at the back of the room didn't feel ashamed or inferior, but that the Gospel is good news in every other area of life. One student said, "My hope is that as I partner with God in fighting injustice my children will be able to start in a very different place from where I am."