The Power Series

The words "the power series" in maroon.

Register for the Case Study Series taking place during IAP. Links are below!


With the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic and a racial justice reckoning in the Spring and Summer of 2020, MIT campus partners knew the time was right for an inclusive and rich conversation about power and identity. Together with SOLE and the Office of Multicultural Programs (OMP), the PKG Center adapted a stand alone workshop intended to prepare students for working with marginalized and oppressed communities around the world to best meet the overall needs of the MIT community, both on campus and beyond. This effort ultimately manifested as The Power Series.


IAP 2022: Applying Your Knowledge

Join the PKG Center for Public Service, SOLE, and OMP this January for a four-part virtual series that builds on the Power Series that took place in November. During each hour-long session, we will take a critical look at how instances of power and privilege affected events in recent history. During that time, we will provide a case study, allow time for reflection on how identity is playing out, discuss our reactions to these events, and above all determine actionable items that can be implemented to challenge oppression within similar scenarios and more generally in our own lives.

Below is the list of topics the MIT community and our offices discussed last year:

  • The USA Gymnastics Scandal and Sexual Violence Prevention
  • The College Admissions Scandal: How Celebrities Benefit from the System
  • De-Platforming: Removing Problematic Stakeholders from Social Media
  • The Acting Head of the Department of Homeland Security and Identifying as a Person of Color


RSVP for the IAP Case Study Series today!

Fyre Festival: Influencers in America – Tuesday, January 11th at 12pm - RSVP Here

Theranos: Identity and Social Entrepeneurship – Thursday, January 13th at 12pm - RSVP Here

Contemporary Slavery: Epstein and R. Kelly – Tuesday, January 18th at 12pm - RSVP Here

The Privileges at MIT: COVID Testing and Safety – Thursday, January 20th at 12pm - RSVP Here



Fall 2021: Setting The Foundation

For the 2021-2022 academic year, join SOLE, OMP and the PKG Center as we discuss the aspects of our identities that may give us power, aspects of society that may limit or challenge our power, and how that power can prepare our community to truly live out MIT's mission of to advance knowledge and educate students in ways that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century. We will be holding three sessions, each with a specific focus:

Part I (November 15th, 2021) will focus on what identity means, and how we may identify in multiple and different ways, depending on context and power dyanmics with others. We will discuss where these aspects of power may stem from, how we may experience them every day, and how these identities relate to the concept of privilege.

Part II (November 22nd, 2021) will take our foundational knowledge to the next step by contextualizing it within MIT. We will discuss how power shapes the ways we navigate the institute, who we build relationships with, how we challenge the systems we navigate and how we can be active bystanders in social change along the way.

Part III (November 29th, 2021) will take this conversation beyond MIT, to the many communities that MIT students and stakeholders engage with. Whether you are working in a health setting like Boston Medical Center or completing a fellowship in the Navajo Nation, we will discuss how to leverage knowledge about power to best meet oppressed and marginalized communities where they are, and how to center their experiences and knowledge as the experts of their communities and histories.