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Moving Onward – Critical Review and Work Plan

Moving Onward – Critical Review and Work Plan

PART I: REVISITING YOUR OWN ‘DNA’ (10 POINTS)

Reflect on how your experiences of disadvantage, oppression, power, and privilege contributed to your class learning experience. (5 Points)

My experiences of privilege, power, oppression, and disadvantage have unquestionably played an important part in shaping my class learning experience, influencing my understanding of how people with a similar intersectional identity should be treated in society, the challenges they face in educational environments, and the workplace, and what needs to be done to address these challenges. In class, my previous interaction with racism and discrimination has enabled me to reflect and understand the importance of my intersectional identity as an individual who is “different ‘n’ amazing.” It has laid a solid foundation for me to recognize my position and intersectional identity as a middle-aged religious African-American woman. I have been able to adequately and accurately use these past experiences to tell my “story” in class and describe my intersectional identity as a “different ‘n’ amazing” individual. For example, my work environment has always reminded me of my inadequacies and position as a black woman. I also often have to deal with belittling comments that communicate a sense of inability, deliberate exclusion from meetings, and silencing.

Describe how various class elements (e.g. yourself, instructor, classmates, course materials, discussion topics, etc.) may have created challenges for you in being the “different ‘n’ amazing” you. (5 Points)

Several class elements have significantly impeded my progress to becoming the “different ‘n’ amazing” self. For example, some of my “White” classmates often tend to remind me of my place as an inferior black woman by making discriminatory comments. Another hurdle has been an internal battle with “the self,” particularly in terms of embracing “whites” as non-racists. In particular, I have struggled to accept the fact that not all whites are racist and biased. Truthfully, I have lately developed “implicit bias” towards whites, meaning that I naturally favor people of African American descent, particularly women, over whites. Most importantly, I have long held the perception that African American women belong to the social outgroups, meaning they are classified as lower class, minority class, powerless, and underprivileged. All these elements have negatively impacted my ability to become a “different ‘n’ amazing” individual who is non-judgmental, unbiased, ethical, respectful, and professional. Finally, the instructor’s oath has shaped my personality, assisting me to be appreciative, responsible, reliable, supportive to others, fair and objective, respectful, professional, timely, engaging, and accommodating.

PART II: SELF-ASSESSMENT & FORMULATION OF A LIFELONG INTERCULTURAL COMPETENCE LEARNING PLAN (50 POINTS)

Please describe the progress that you have made on each of your learning objectives (s). Have you achieved your objective(s)? Why or why not? (5 Points per objective; 20 Points total)

The learning objectives were classified based on four learning competencies identified, including (1) values, (2) knowledge, (3) skills, and (4) cognitive and affective reactions. In terms of values, I have met two objectives (developing integrity and respecting the dignity and worth of people) and have not met two others (including service and social justice). The first two objectives have been met through professional training in class. I have learned in class that everyone must be treated with dignity and integrity. The last two objectives have not been met because I have not had an opportunity to practice in the field, attend cultural events, or engage in community and neighborhood events. For knowledge, I have met three objectives (improved cultural competence, understood comparative and social science theories, and learned about 21st-century issues) but have not yet started participating in policy analysis and social justice advocacy. The explanations for achieving and not achieving the objectives are similar to the ones above.

For the third competency (skills), I have similarly achieved three objectives (improved communication, problem-solving, engagement, assessment, and evaluation skills) by actively participating in informal discussions and using professional and non-professional readings. On the other hand, I have not yet improved my understanding of advanced research statistics and methods because we have yet to learn these skills in class. I have also not had a chance to conduct interviews and surveys or participate in field research. Finally, I have met the only objective for the fourth competency (cognitive and affective reactions): to become non-judgmental, non-partisan, non-violent, tolerant, broad-minded, unbiased, and permissive. The reason is that I have had an opportunity to reflect on my personality and experiences in the workplace and learning environment as a middle-aged religious African-American woman and resolved to treat others fairly and equally. I have been prejudiced, despised, abused, looked down upon, intimidated, and even doubted in class and at work because of skin color, gender, and religious affiliation.

How has your experience in this class helped or hindered your learning process? Please provide specific examples of readings, class discussions, reflections, exercises, assignments, etc., in your response. (10 Points)

My experience in this class has significantly helped my learning process in so many ways. For example, the first assignment, titled “Intersectionality DNA Reflection: Knowing Oneself”, has essentially helped me understand my personality, particularly the “different ‘n’ amazing” identity. I have understood some of the individual factors that have been more salient in shaping my behavior, development, and identity, such as race, gender, religious affiliation, social class, political connection, and many others. Through various readings, reflections, discussions, and exercises, I have also learned to appreciate how diversity influences a person’s and group’s life experiences, behavior, and development. As a social worker, I have also learned how to use mindful reflection to examine, comprehend, and promote my intercultural competence in social work. Several course readings have also equipped me with intercultural competence skills, which have enabled me to recognize and understand the primary types and consequences of social injustices and systemic oppression. For example, the books Multicultural Social Work Practice by Sue, Rasheed, & Ras (2016) and The Reality of Diversity, Gender, and Skin Color by Finney & Fitgerald (2020) have influenced my understanding of current issues in social work. They have also equipped me with the skills to understand and address social justice and systemic oppression issues.

PART II, CONTINUED

For each of the four components of practice (i.e., assessment, engagement, intervention, and evaluation), identify one learning objective related to the continuing development of your intercultural competence over the course of your social work career. (2 pts each; 9 pts total)

Assessment: learn to assess social work issues by applying an intercultural competence lens to determine and comprehend the primary types and effects of social injustice and systemic oppression

Engagement: learn how to engage with others by acquiring cultural competence skills of appreciation, responsibility, reliability, supportiveness, fairness and objectivity, respectfulness, professionalism, timeliness, compliance, and accommodating.

Intervention: learn how to intervene by applying key intercultural competence concepts, theories, and solutions related to social justice, inclusion, and diversity, as well as connected to injustice, oppression, privilege, and power.

Evaluation: use intercultural competence skills to evaluate social work practice problems with communities, organizations, groups, families, and individuals.

For each of the 4 objectives specified above, describe one strategy that you can implement to help you in achieving it. (2 pts each; 8 pts total)

Assessment: use of interviews and advanced research methods & statistics to examine the types and effects of systemic oppression and social injustice in individuals, families, schools, and other community settings.

Engagement: participate in professional development training, cultural events, and community/neighborhood immersions.

Intervention: use professional readings to learn how to apply intercultural competence theories and concepts related to diversity, inclusion, and social justice (Powell & Khan, 2012).

Evaluation: use interviews and surveys to evaluate the effects of the applied intercultural competence strategies.

What barriers do you anticipate in implementing your lifelong learning plan? What strategies might you employ to help you overcome them? (4 pts)

The barriers I expect to impede the implementation of my lifelong learning plan include stereotyping and financial shortcomings. As a middle-aged religious African American woman, I expect to meet people in power (especially white males) who do not believe in my ability as a black woman or Baptist to lead and participate in social justice courses or serve in any other social work position. I expect these people to belittle me, provide little effort, or be uncooperative. I will address this challenge by standing my course and stamping my authority as an equally competent and educated individual in society. I will apply my cultural competence skills to overcome the problem. In terms of financial shortcomings, I will more likely lack the funds required to conduct research and champion social justice and oppression courses. However, I intend to seek help from the government and non-governmental institutions that share in my vision of championing the rights of those oppressed and disadvantaged in society due to systemic injustice.

PART III: ADDRESSING OPPRESSION AND INJUSTICE (40 POINTS)

What could you do at an individual level as your different ‘n’ amazing intersectional self?

At an individual level and as a “different ‘n’ intersectional” self, I would specifically offer training to people facing discrimination, social injustice, and oppression in the workplace or any other community setting. As a Baptist and woman of color, I have faced lots of prejudice, discrimination, and ridicule in school and college. I have also seen the privileges of being raised in a middle-class Black family, including being enrolled in predominantly white schools, learning to speak in a Midwestern accent, and having an advantage over other people of my ethnic background. Therefore, the best thing I can do at an individual level is to educate oppressed women of color through my life experiences.

What could you do in your capacity as a social work professional?

In my capacity as a social work professional, as indicated by Dibbets & Eijkman (2018), I would champion change by lobbying for policy change at a national level. I will try to challenge Congress to create effective anti-discriminatory policies – both in learning institutions and at the workplace – that specifically affect people of color, religious minorities (such as Baptists), and women. I would achieve this by enrolling in an active national association of social workers that fights for the welfare and rights of disadvantaged and oppressed individuals in society, particularly people of color, women, Baptists, low-class citizens, people with disabilities, immigrants, and several others. For example, I would join the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) to try to raise my voice and give suggestions aimed at changing policies nationally. NASW is a powerful institution with nearly 120,000 registered members. The institution offers advocacy, up-to-date information, research, guidance, and several other resources for its members and social workers.

What could social service agencies/organizations do at a systems level?

Social service agencies can help by providing welfare services or aid that benefits individuals, communities, or populations. Social service agencies (often shortened as SSAs) are typically charity institutions created as companies or societies limited by trusts and guarantees. SSAs promote the well-being and health of individuals and communities by strengthening social and family ties through community programs created to foster social support networks. They also assist vulnerable individuals and populations to be more self-reliant or self-sufficient by providing critical community-based services, such as transportation, jobs, housing, schools, mental health services, elder care, child care, foster care, and so on (Institute of Medicine, 2015).

What could policymakers do at a societal level?

At a societal level, policymakers can play a significant role in passing or amending specific policies that address the welfare and well-being of disadvantaged individuals in society, especially based on gender and race. For example, Congress can amend the 1967 Civil Rights Act by introducing a clause that specifically protects disadvantaged women of African-American descent from work-related or educational oppression and discrimination. Also, Congress can introduce a policy that would compel the government to create several community-based welfare programs targeting disadvantaged girls and women. Such laws would, for instance, provide extra educational funds and food subsidies to impoverished girls from minority communities.

References

Dibbets, A., & Eijkman, Q. (2018). Translators, advocates, or practitioners? Social workers and human rights localization. Journal of Human Rights Practice, 10(2), 212-228. https://doi.org/10.1093/jhuman/huy018

Finney, K. & Fitzgerald, T. (2020). The reality of diversity, gender, and skin color: From living room to classroom (1st ed.). San Diego, CA: Cognella Publishing.

Institute of Medicine. (2015). Healthy, resilient, and sustainable: Communities after disasters: Strategies, opportunities, and planning for recovery. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

Powell, J., & Khan, H. (2012). Foucault, social theory and social work. Sociologie Românească, 10(1), 131–147

Sue, D. W., Rasheed, M. N., & Rasheed, J. M. (2016). Multicultural social work practice. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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Question 


Moving Onward – Critical Review and Work Plan

A. Aims

The main aim of this assignment is to provide a space for you to reflect critically on the experiences in this class during this semester. Specifically, the assignment asks that you revisit assignments 1, 2, and 3 to assess your growth and plan for next steps moving forward.

B. Format

Like Assignments 1 and 2, this assignment is presented in a “worksheet” format designed to complement and reflect the required readings and lecture content for the course. This format is designed to encourage you to think both critically and creatively about the assignment items and course material, and about your experience completing the assignment.

The assignment consists of three parts. The first part asks that you revisit your answers about your (different ‘n’ amazing) identity in Assignment 1 and share how this course has fostered or challenged these identities. The second part of the assignment asks that you assess and evaluate the learning goals you set for yourself in Assignment 2 and develop a new set of learning goals for the future. Finally, the third part asks you to reflect on the oppression/social justice topic of your choice from Assignment 3 to suggest strategies to overcome this particular issue.

Moving Onward - Critical Review and Work Plan

Moving Onward – Critical Review and Work Plan

C. Grading & Submission

Assignment 4 comprises 25% of your final grade. Grading for the assignment will be based on a 100-point scale. For this assignment, points will be based on (a) the presence or absence of a response to each assignment question or item, (b) the thoughtfulness of your response, (c) meaningful reflection of course content in your response, and (d) the clarity of your response.

 The assignment is due by 11:59pm PT the day of your Week 12 live class session.

D. Learning Outcomes Addressed by Assignment 3

This assignment relates to objective 5 and to student learning outcomes 3c.

PART I: REVISITNG YOUR OWN ‘DNA’ (10 POINTS)

In Part III of Assignment 1, you reflected on how you would want others to understand you with your intersectional identities as a person who is “different ‘n’ amazing.” Revisit your response and assess the extent to which this class provided a platform for you to be the you described in “Your Story” by answering the following 2 questions. Please be sure to integrate and cite course concepts in your responses.

  1. Reflect on how your experiences of disadvantage, oppression, power, and privilege contributed to your class learning experience. (5 points)
  2. Describe how various class elements (e.g., yourself, instructor, classmates, course materials, discussion topics, etc.) may have created challenges for you in being the “different n amazing” you. (5 points)

PART II: SELF-ASSESSMENT & FORMULATION OF A LIFELONG INTERCULTURAL COMPETENCE LEARNING PLAN (50 POINTS)

In Assignment 2, you identified the kinds of people, values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that make you feel uncomfortable and unsafe. In Part III, you developed a Learning Plan for this semester. The following questions ask you to reflect on your progress toward the learning objectives specified in your learning plan.

  1. Please describe the progress that you have made on each of your learning objective(s). Have you achieved your objective(s)? Why or why not? (5pts per objective; 20pts total)
  2. How has your experience in this class helped or hindered your learning process? Please provide specific examples of readings, class discussions, reflections, exercises, assignments, etc., in your response. (10pts)

PART II, CONTINUED

Remember that being an interculturally competent social worker is a lifelong process. In the following section, you will develop a learning plan that can guide you through your social work career.

Moving Onward - Critical Review and Work Plan

Moving Onward – Critical Review and Work Plan

  1. For each of the four components of practice (i.e., assessment, engagement, intervention, and evaluation), identify one learning objective related to the continuing development of your intercultural competence over the course of your social work career. (2pts each; 8pts total)
  2. For each of the 4 objectives specified above, describe one strategy that you can implement to help you in achieving it. (2pts each; 8pts total)
  3. What barriers do you anticipate in implementing your lifelong learning plan? What strategies might you employ to help you overcome them? (4pts)

PART III: ADDRESSING OPPRESSION AND INJUSTICE (40 POINTS)

In Assignment 3, you worked in a group to examine an issue related to oppression/social justice through an intersectional lens. Reflecting on what you learned, personally and professionally, from the group process and from delivering the training, describe specific strategies for overcoming the oppression/social justice issue your group selected by answering the following questions. Please be sure to integrate and cite course concepts and scholarly materials relevant to your topic area. (10pts each)

  1. What could you do at an individual level as your different ‘n’ amazing intersectional self?
  2. What could you do in your capacity as a social work professional?
  3. What could social service agencies/organizations do at a systems level?
  4. What could policymakers do at a societal level?

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