Monday, May 4, 2009

Journal 13 Four organizations the reinforce and support cultural diversity

Four organizations available in reinforcing others toward behavior that support cultural diversity are:

1. The Human Rights Project (HRP) is one of eight projects at the Urban Justice Center, a non-profit anti poverty organization. HRP attempts to situate domestic poverty and discrimination issues within a human rights framework. The Urban Justice Center serves New York City's most vulnerable residents through a combination of direct legal service, systemic advocacy, community education and political organizing. They often defend the rights of people who are overlooked or turned away by other organizations. We reach a wide-ranging client base through our Projects. Projects include:
Community Development
Peter Cicchino Youth
Domestic Violence
Sex Workers
Homelessness Outreach & Prevention This tells you a little bit about this program.
"We Want to Work: Challenges to Self-Sufficiency in New York City's Workforce-Development System," March 2009 Homelessness Outreach and Prevention Project at the Urban Justice Center joined with job-seekers to release a new case study: We Want to Work: Challenges to Self-Sufficiency in New York City's Workforce-Development System, which examines how public assistance and food stamps clients fare as they engage in work activities. The case study found that poor New Yorkers want to work, have skills and strengths to contribute to the workforce, and are interested in high-growth job sectors. The study concluded that New York City's Workforce Development System falls short of its goal of helping low-income people get out of poverty and attain self-sufficiency because of its "work-first" approach which emphasizes immediate, low-wage jobs.
Street Vendor
Human Rights
Veterans & Service members
Mental Health

2. African Services Committee: was founded in 1981 by a group of African refugees to provide resettlement assistance throughout the New York metropolitan area. ASC provides relief and assistance for diverse ethnic, immigrant and refugee groups in need of food, housing, medical care, legal services and other supportive counseling. Some of their programs are listed below:
Support for Immigrants
Get Involved
Free HIV, TB and STD Testing
HIV Prevention
Support for People with HIV/AIDS
Services for Families
Our HIV Programs in Ethiopia
Visit our Food Pantry
Learn English
Get Low-Cost Care at a City Hospital
Talk to a lawyer about Legal & Immigration Issues
Community Health Screenings
"Deepening Our Roots"The Capital Campaign for ASC
Donate Now to Support Our Work
Subscribe to Our Mailing List

3. People's Movement for Human Rights Education:
Founded in 1988, the People's Decade of Human Rights Education (PDHRE-International) is a non-profit, international service organization that works directly and indirectly with its network of affiliates - primarily women's and social justice organizations - to develop and advance pedagogues for human rights education relevant to people's daily lives in the context of their struggles for social and economic justice and democracy.

Learn about the holistic vision of human rights:
Every woman, man, youth and child has the human right to a life in dignity. The human rights framework is a practical, effective tool to belong in community with dignity for all. Explore the 24 issues below, to learn human rights related to social and economic justice and injustice, breaking through the vicious cycle of humiliation. Discover how learning about human rights can put power in your hands to achieve social change. Learn what obligations and commitments your government has made to ensuring the realization of human rights for all, and hold your government accountable. Know your human rights, and claim them - become a mentor and a monitor!

the aged children development differently abled discrimination education
environment ethnicity food health housing indigenous peoples
livelihood & land migrant workers minorities peace & disarmament poverty race
refugees religion sexual orientation sustainable development womenwork & workers

4. New York Civil Rights Coalition:
The New York Civil Rights Coalition (NYCRC) is an organization of people concerned with kindling in Americans a spirit of unity and commitment in achieving a truly open and just society, where the individual enjoys the blessings of liberty free of racial prejudice, stigma, caste or discrimination. In this regard, NYCRC works purposefully to encourage people and institutions to take affirmative steps to achieve an integrated society - inclusive neighborhoods; strong, diverse, and interracial educational systems, both public and private; equal opportunity in employment and voting rights; and unfettered participation in the civic affairs of our democracy.

Projects include:
About Unlearning Stereotypes Testimonials Volunteer Request Information
About Unlearning Stereotypes -- Civil Rights and Race Relations Project
The Unlearning Stereotypes -- Civil Rights and Race Relations Project of the New York Civil Rights Coalition is a schools-based program that helps equip students with the critical thinking skills and information they need in order to challenge common stereotypes and myths about people because of their color, religion, national origin, disability, sex, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. The program was initiated in December 1989, following the racially-motivated killing of Yusef Hawkins, a black teenager, by a group of youths in Bensonhurst, a predominantly white section of Brooklyn. We developed a special course on "civil rights and race relations" to be taught in the high school in Bensonhurst. To teach the course, we dispatched two lawyers, a black and white team, who took over a regular high school class at the school, once a week, every week for an entire semester. From that single class at one high school, the New York Civil Rights Coalition's Unlearning Stereotypes -- Civil Rights and Race Relations Project program has grown into a city-wide project involving dozens of volunteer teachers each semester who are recruited and trained by us and placed in some 40 public schools, in every borough of New York City, including two junior high schools in Manhattan. These volunteer teachers include lawyers, law students, police officers, family court judges, and people from diverse occupations and professions. They are assigned to each school as a team -- usually bi-racial and co-ed -- to meet with the same high school or junior high school class every week during the course of a semester. Our volunteer teachers do NOT lecture, and they do NOT proselytize. Modeled after our pilot program in Bensonhurst, our volunteers use Socratic teaching methods, role-playing, and courtroom scenarios, including mock trials, along with debate exercises, to engage the students. Through these methods, students who were once "passive learners" become interactive learners, avid debaters, reasoned discussants, and thoughtful conversationalists. Backed up by a curriculum that is always changing and keeping pace with new knowledge and developments in race relations and current events, NYCRC's Unlearning Stereotypes -- Civil Rights and Race Relations Project is an effort to involve professionals, law and graduate students, community leaders and concerned citizens in a school-based program that can help improve race relations among youth. It is a much heralded program that engages students in discussions that carry over to the cafeteria, the schoolyard, their neighborhoods, and back to their homes. As they continue to talk about human relations problems and social issues, the youth of our city begin to see that the strands of our diversity are the bonds of our commonality as human beings. Because we ask that they refer to each other by their names, students from various neighborhoods and backgrounds get to know one another and, thereby, once seemingly impenetrable barriers fall. There is laughter in the classroom as well as vigorous, animated discussion. Through our classes, and because of the empathy, motivation and skillfulness of our energetic and devoted volunteer teachers, students learn from each other, and examine the underlying causes of intergroup conflict; in the process they also learn about civics, civil rights, and world and American history. Students are not graded; instead they evaluate the program at semester's end, through written evaluations, which they submit anonymously to the New York Civil Rights Coalition. The program is supported by tax-deductible private donations, from foundations, corporations, and the public at large. Questions about the New York Civil Rights Coalition's Unlearning Stereotypes -- Civil Rights and Race Relations Project may be addressed to the program's administrator, Michael Meyers, Executive Director of the New York Civil Rights Coalition, at (212) 563-5636 or the Acting Project Manager, John Nidiry, at (212) 563-5636. Requests for information can also be made through our website.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Journal 12 Questionaire

journal 11 (Lum text reading) Cultural Competence with African Americans

There is much diversity among the African American population in terms of origin, appearance, experiences with oppression, identity, demographic characteristics, residential patterns, social class, interpersonal styles, and patterns of functioning and lifestyles. It is essential to understand each of these aspects of diversity in order to effectively assess, intervene, and become involved in research and practice.

There is a continuum of competence proposed for practitioners of five ranges with African American people. 1. Cultural Destructiveness, refers to situations in which individuals exhibit attitudes and behaviors designed to crush or destroy a culture. This includes denying people who are often disempowered access to resources. 2. Culturally Incapacitated, in this practice you are not culturally destructive, yet may adhere to values and beliefs that perpetuate racist stereotypes of African Americans. This practitioner is likely to blame the victim. 3. Cultural Blindness; This refers to practitioners denying any differences between groups and assumes that practices used with the majority population, generally Whites, may work equally as well with African Americans. 4. Cultural Precompetence, recognizes their strengths as well as weaknesses in providing services to African Americans and seek to become more culturally sensitive and aware. 5. Culturally Competent Practitioner, openly expresses a commitment to diversity and obviously value diversity. For example, they recognize the impact of societal institutions and systemic factors that may lead to an increase in African American single-parent families rather than blaming the families or culture. This is my goal as a Social worker to be in this competence range of Culturally Competent.

There is a high poverty rate within the African American population mostly because there are a lot of single family homes run by mothers 35% who are poor and that would mean their children are poor as well. For over the last 5o years African American male unemployment rate has been over twice that of White males. They tend to start their own business for making money because they are unable to fit into the mainstream of employment with the dominant group.

There's also very negative attitudes towards homosexuality In the African American population causing many Lesbians and Gays to engage in self denial.

African Americans history is characterized by slavery and segregation and continued oppression. European Slave traders enslaved Africans to provide cheap labor to support the southern agricultural economy. They could not escape because they were very visible and could not blend in with their darker skin color. The women were also exploited sexually. Although some of them may have been freed from bondage they were never freed from oppression. The Emancipation Proclamation eventually freed the slaves in 1863, an estimated 20 million slaves lived in the United States at this time.

The abolition of slavery did little to alter the historically oppressive relationship between Blacks and Whites in the United States. The dehumanization of Blacks, justified by theories of inferiority and subhuman status, laid the groundwork for the economic, political, and social discrimination and oppression that characterized the post slavery era. The Jim Crow laws legalized segregation in such places as schools, restaurants, theaters, buses, cemeteries, funeral homes, water fountains, and restrooms. In the 1950's and 1960's were the civil rights movement to end discrimination and that led to the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act. Over the years , the struggle has continued for African Americans to be given equal access to housing , jobs, and educational opportunities. In recent years, efforts to redress past wrongs, such as affirmative action policies in higher education, have come under siege.

Skin color has played a huge form of oppression. Some African Americans have internalized this racist belief that characteristics associated with Whites are considered to be "good" as they are more "Whitelike" and thus may be more acceptable to Whites. Still today, those with more "Whitelike" characteristics are defined by many Blacks and Whites as more acceptable to Whites and therefore, may be given more opportunities.

Blacks were not only systematically oppressed during slavery, but they continue to suffer discrimination, Equal right for Blacks in the United States have always had to be fought for, and despite greater access and opportunities, Blacks still experience a great deal of discriminatory and oppressive attitudes and behaviors for the dominant White society. Legislative gains have been made, but it is impossible to legislate White attitudes.

Historically, many African Americans have been reluctant to seek help from social service agencies for a variety of reasons stemming from a distrust of society due to the history of institutional racism and discrimination. "Both consciously and unconsciously, racism is enforced and maintained by the legal, cultural, religious, educational, economic, political, environmental and military institutions of societies. Racism is more than just a personal attitude; it is the institutionalized form of that attitude."

One of the most blatant forms of oppression was the enslavement of African Americans in the United States, which was followed by legalized segregation. These racist practices have negatively impacted the economic and social lives of African Americans and therefore must be acknowledged in considering the social service needs of this population


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

journal 10 Native American/Indigenous Peoples handout

'No one lynches us. No citizenry chains us up and drags us from the backs of pick-up trucks. Just a thousand little cuts to our self-esteem, self identity. Rather than obliterating a people, simply obliterate the glue that binds them: culture".- Alani Apio

What are the "thousand little cuts"? A thousand little cuts are cuts to self identity and all the things that make up the culture of indigenous people, their esteem, self identity, cultural pride and their souls. Rather than obliterate the people, like so many Hitlers have tried, simply obliterate the glue that binds them: culture. Just enough slices to leave blood on the scene, but no actual bodies. Essentially what that means is Cultural Genocide, a slow bleeding to death through 1000 tiny cuts that no one knows how to stop and nobody will admit to doing.

What does Apio mean when he describes culture as the glue that binds people? In what sense does he view culture as glue?

The glue that binds the people is the the Native American peoples is their strength their power their identity; land, language, and way of life. Their power,strength, homeland, identity and way of life have all been taken away from them and treaties were signed for land rights. But laws continue to exist that attack their rights and assets and their treaties are not acknowledged and have been changed.

Slowly as time goes by the power of the native people become more powerless and passive and dominant groups take over. Stereotypes are also impressed upon the oppressed Native peoples as lazy, stupid, drunks,druggies, abusive to their family, live like animals etc... These stereotypes enable the dominant groups to gain more power and make them appear to be the better group. This gives them the power and support to continue their greedy mission and have the upper hand in gaining the Native Peoples land.

Every day according to Alani Apio; "Things happen in the government that makes money using Native lands, for example; in Hawaii state dollars go to Hawaii visitors and Convention Bureau which sells Hawaiians as the host culture to market the state, but there's never been a state-recognized, state funded hula halau. They want Hawaiians to forget the far distant past but certainly not the hula. So it's okay to remember all the things that make money through tourism and marketing. All the fun stuff is remembered hula, paddling , voyaging. but Hawaiians are shut down consistently when they need stuff that's going to cost something or make someone uncomfortable.

Well intentioned, educated, sympathetic, influential cuts that mask a greedy, hypocritical , arrogant decidedly American ideology. And that American Ideology is to forget the past because America was largely built on land stolen through government-sponsored genocide against Native Americans. While this generation benefits, it doesn't' want any moral responsibility for those atrocities. In Hawaii, many flat-out deny any connection between the past and present: Hawaiians aren't suffering now because even if wrongs were committed, they were done to your ancestors, and you've benefited greatly by being American. In other words "no dead bodies so shut up!" The genocide of Hawaiian culture may not be complete for another 20,another 50 years, but it will happen-unless they re-establish their sovereign nation.

People with Hawaiian blood will still be here , but the culture will have bled to death. Because if Hawaiians aren't needed that that saves a lot of land and power. Land and Power, it's all about land and power."

So slowly different government policies through the years take away rights and land from the Native Americans and as they wait in line for their turn for things to happen that were written on their treaties years ago. But as years pass things keep changing and slowly very slowly there is a genocide of this First American Peoples.

One of the government policies for the Native Indians culture has to prove that they are Indian by taken a blood quantum tests. This will allow a slow genocide of a culture of people as surely in years to come generation to generation blood quantum percentage will not be the same as their ancestors and will not be enough to prove that they are in fact Native Americans! Here again we have a system obliterating a culture of people, a slow genocide, killing their power and strength, the glue that holds them together.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

journal 9 (lum text reading) "Cultural Competence with First Nations People"

In this chapter it talks about being culturally competent with First Nations People and the need for cultural competence has been identified as an ethical imperative by the NASW in it's code of ethics. It has been determined that competent practice and culturally competent practice are so intertwined that it is impossible to be competent without being culturally competent. Significant diversity exists among First Nations People, and working with different Native groups may require different elements of cultural competence. Social workers must be self reflective, non judgemental, and willing to learn from clients. This will enable social workers to assess clients within their cultural context and to choose culturally appropriate interventions. In planning for interventions and programs, it is critical to assess the level of cultural connection of clients and to find an intervention that is good match.

There is a huge diversity that exists among First Nations Peoples. Over 500 distinct Native American nations exist within the boundaries of the United States. These Nations differ in terms of language, religion, social structure, political structure and many other aspects of their cultures. Many immigrants from Latin America identify as First Nations People. Native American are some of the poorest populations in the United States and many live below the poverty level. Given the vast diversity that exists among Native people, it is important that social workers examine cultural affiliation as part of a basic assessment. Only an individual client knows what his or her cultural identity means to him or her, and the social worker must take steps to seek out this information. Social workers may not be aware that they are working with a Native client unless they ask or the client volunteers this information. Their are many native people who appear phenotypically White, Latino, African American, or Asian.

Because Native Americans are a relatively small population , researchers rarely have adequate samples to examine inter tribal differences. Overlooking diversity among Native Americans results in distorted data regarding strengths and challenges faced by indigenous people. One example of this is in the research on First Nations People and the use of alcohol. Alcohol is more of a problem in some nations then others The stereotype of the drunken Indian perpetuates the belief that indigenous people are biologically predetermined to alcoholism and that they are helpless, hopeless, passive victims.

In order to effectively work with First Nations People, it is important to have an understanding of the historical events that have led to the circumstances of today. The ancestral connection felt my many is important to be aware of to understanding the importance of history. One of the most devastating parts of the history of colonization and oppression of indigenous people in the United States and Canada has only recently begun to receive significant attention. Beginning in the late 19th century and extending into the late 20th century, it was federal policy to separate Native children from their families and to educate them in boarding schools that were often hundreds or thousands of miles from their home communities. The slogan of these schools, "Kill the Indian: Save the man," reflected the belief of the times that all cultural, linguistic, and spiritual practices of First Nations People must be eradicated in order for them to be civilized and have a place within white society. The mission of these schools were essentially cultural genocide. Likewise, the devastating effects of the schools have left many Native people with a severe mistrust of education and other dominant society institutions.

It is important to know that Native nations are recognized as sovereign by the U.S. government. Thus, Native Americans are not simply an ethnic group. In addition to cultural distinctiveness, they have legal distinction from other groups in the United States. Just as Native Americans are not a thing of the past, neither are oppression and social injustice. Social workers can play and important role in fighting continued oppression by publicly opposing social policies and laws that seek to further undermine indigenous sovereignty

Sunday, April 12, 2009


In this chapter it talks about cultural competence with Latino Americans. Latino population represents the fastest growing sector of the population in the United States. Because of the wide range of diversity in the Latino population there is a lot to be educated on as a social worker to be knowledgeable, aware and competent in working with this group of people. Latinos are diverse in character and are comprised of a multitude of national origins from all parts of Latin America, Caribbean (Puerto Rican, Cuban) and Mexico. Mexico represents the largest number of Latinos in the United States.

It is good to know a little bit about the history and heritage of each group of Latinos which will help you have a better understanding of each person. Historically and demographically, Latin America is complex in that virtually every world ethnic, racial and religious population has immigrated to various parts of Latin America. The history of oppression in the U.S. society and negative stereotyping Latinos contribute to the ongoing experience of discrimination and racism toward Latinos.

Understanding the origins of Mexican Heritage, Puerto Rican experiences Cuban experiences, Central American experiences, South American experiences, Elderly Latinos, Latino Gay and Lesbian research will help you better understand the vast diversities and demographics, complexities and oppressions of each of these groups. It is important to read up literature to define each groups problems experiences and to understand as a social worker how to work with each group.

One example of understanding a groups origin is with the Mexican Heritage. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo resulted in the sale of what is now California and New Mexico to the United States for 15 million in 1848. This negotiation was an outcome of the U.S-Mexican War and led to long-standing tensions between the native Mexican residents and the new U.S. settlers. Through the years this has caused much oppression with riots stereotypes, segregation, racial discrimination, hate crimes and border deaths. The abuse of Mexican -heritage persons continues and is buttressed by the abuse of academic scholarship, such as Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington's warning that Mexican immigration to the United States "looms as a unique and disturbing challenge to our cultural integrity.

Each group has there own individual history and oppression and experience and mistreatment. It is extremely important as a social worker to work be culturally competent with each group. In being effective with each group there are five elements essential to ensuring that a system, institution, agency, or professional is able to become more culturally competent: 1) valuing diversity; 2) having the capacity for cultural self-assessment; 3) being conscious of the dynamics inherent when cultures interact; 4) having institutionalized cultural knowledge; and 5) having developed adaptations to diversity, basing practice on accurate perceptions of behavior, constructing impartial policies, and demonstrating unbiased attitudes.

Learning how to be culturally competent without contributing to negative stereotypes about Latino clients involves workers being willing to examine their own cultural backgrounds, socioeconomic status and discern the degree and extent of their own cultural programming.

Friday, April 3, 2009

JOURNAL 7 " Obstacles and Challenges experienced working effectively with LGBT clients?"

Experiences and challenges faced in working effectively with LGBT clients is working with their sexual minority status. As a social workers I need to be prepared to address concerns such as internalized homophobia. In lots of cases their status is not shared by family or environment. So it is very important that I understand personality theory and identity development of the self in relation to others. It is important for all human growth and development to grow simultaneously independently and cohesively. Independent growth is learning to be alone and responsible, and it is also a growth for self esteem and self care. Cohesive development is getting support and emotional nuturance from persons family, social network and community, this provides opportunities for developing real self. In learning to be cohesive you learn to be for the purpose of learning to be intimate and self transcendent. LGBT clients may be forced to find support for his or her identified self only in immediate peer networks or in the gay and lesbian community, and later the individual may find it difficult to manifest aspects of the real self that do not fit the norms or expectations of the gay and lesbian community.

It is important to realize that the LGBT population share the same concerns as heterosexual persons for mental health, physical health, and personal well being. It is important for me as a social worker not to make the mistake to see all clients problems as a reaction to his or her sexual orientation.

It is important for me to work through my sexual identity on issues of homophobia and attitudes I may have toward the LGBT persons and to be open and honest and acknowledge transference and counter transference are conditions necessary for effective helping relationships.

Finally it is important in cross cultural social work practice with LGBT clients for me to understand that the referral resources the worker usually trusts and utilizes during network intervention with heterosexual clients may not be as useful for gay and lesbian client. Homophobic attitudes of individuals in the social workers referral network may interfere with service delivery.