Saturday, February 28, 2009

(textbook journal #5)

I always wonder how I would be able to communicate effectively without coming across as rude and judgmental. It is so easy for people to say things that might come off as disrespectfully because we don't understand someone’s cultural and how they think. In chapter 6, stated by Weaver that cultural competence is the ability to have “the knowledge about a clients culture, have certain values and attitudes that include respect diversity and emphasize helper self-awareness . . . . integrate this knowledge and values/ attitudes with helping skills" (157). The application of cultural competence is an important tool for social workers. For demographics for example, can be used for planning and evaluating of the client population, also "increase understanding of new immigrant adjustment problems, customs and family structure"(Lum 159). With this knowledge, it would farther cultural competence in a social worker. It is also important a social worker understand that history of oppression and understanding those who have been oppressed. In order to gain an accurate picture of a client circumstance, should ask questions about people, events and happenings. I know that many people can make assumptions about a group of people based on what they saw on television, but I come to learn that I must dig deeper and do research and stop making assumptions because it can lead to conflict with someone. Every person has different values and for a social worker it is crucial in the development of cultural competence. In chapter six listed five cultural values "family, respect, harmony, spirituality, and cooperation" (167). Each group of people has their different stance on each value. For example in the African-American and Latino Americans it is important to show respect toward father, mother, and older adults. In the Asian and First Nation People, respect of personhood will communicate reverence of life.

Next in chapter seven, which is entitled skill development, Helms and Richardson define skill as "the capacity to use awareness and knowledge to interact effectively with clients and colleagues regardless of their racial classification pr cultural origins" (185). When I read this chapter I was really excited because it gave information on how I could one day communicate to a client. The process, conceptualization and personalization where listed as three skills in working with clients. Process skills is the opening the interview smoothly, using reflection and helping clients to say what is on their mind. Conceptualization is the ability to think and analysis, and has understanding of what client is saying and understand the themes what they client is communicating. Personalization is learning observable and being able to hear the client’s challenges and give advice without being defensive. I thought conceptualization is something I could work on because when understanding a client I think I will need help in knowing what to do the next for the client. I loved chapter six and seven because I have become aware of myself and areas I need to improve in as a person and one day as a social worker.

Personal Journal #5

Question: You woke up tomorrow only to find out your race had "changed." How would your life would be different if you looked like someone of a different race?

I would have more privileges if my race changed. I will be able to walk in a store and not be followed and viewed as someone of a higher class. I would have gone to the best University and graduated with a 4.0. I would be the first choice in getting hired compared to another women of a different race. I would have a career that pays a good amount of money, some might me rich. If I wanted to buy a car or a house I might have better credit and because of my changed race I would be the first choice in getting a house. Also I would be able to afford to buy a house and a car. I would no longer have to worry about catching a bus or walking because I have money in my bank account. I would live in a safe neighborhood in a three story house with a husband and two children. I would not have to worry about the rent because my husband and I would be able to pay the rent on time. I could quit my job and would not worry about the next bill because my husband has the funds to provide for the family. I would even be able to afford an excises expert and not even think about the cost. I think I might have a nanny for each child, maid and a cook. I could call up someone to deliver the groceries for me if I wanted to. I would be able to put my kids in the best schools and know that they are having the best education than any other school. My family and I would be able to vacations every month overseas and still have money to go somewhere else. I might even have my own personal plane that could fly my family and I where ever we wanted to go. As women of a different race I would be very privilege in life, I would no longer have to worry about not having money and where the next pay check is coming.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible knapsack(textbook journal #4)

I thought because I was born in America that I had the same privileges as those of the white race. I could understand that the white men had more privileges because they were men. For white women I thought differently. I believed that white women did not have the same privileges. After reading the "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" by Peggy McIntosh I saw things differently. I come to understand because a women is white, she has more privileges maybe it’s not the same privileges as the white men. A white woman has more privileges than a black woman. As McIntosh, states "white privileges is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions . . . clothes, tools, and blank checks." Thought it may not seem to white women they have more privileges, circumstances says other wise. According to Mintosh " I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed." I get so upset knowing that people make assumptions that only people of color are likely to steal, when the average white woman can steal. But because it is a white woman (her privilege) one would choose not to follow her. I remember watching on a "Sister Sister" episode, a same situation occurred when a one of the twins’ friends had to watch black people in a store to make sure they did not steal. In these circumstances, I am becoming more and more aware that blacks don't have the same privileges as those of the white race.

McIntosh states that "I can easily buy posters, postcards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, and toys." I am amazed that I never notice these things, though in stores I daily pass pictures with white families, and even in Disney movies, all the Princess are white. I also think it is the same for the white race; they too do not notice their "privilege" being their faces is plaster on almost everything. With all the different races in America why is it that the white race are represent in almost the stores and even in Disney movies? I don't think I will every understand it. If a police pulls over a black person it is most likely that because of their race unlike a white person. I remember Will Smith in an interview said that a police told him just because he was black; the police officer chose to pull him over. Though Will Smith is a famous he was stilled pulled over because he was black. For a white person, because of their "privilege" they probably would never go through this experience. Maybe black people will never have the same privileges as white people, but now I can say I am aware of it of the difference in privileges. I continue to see the world the way it is.

Personal Journal #4

Journal #4Discuss the class structure of your “home” community. Are neighborhoods mixed or segregated by class? Which classes live in which areas and go to which schools? Which groups tend to shop at which stores, worship at which religious centers, belong to which clubs? Are there any venues where various classes intermingle? Are there any class-based issues the community is currently confronting -- for example, in housing, job development, or education?

I live in a medium size town called Ossining. The town of Ossining has a mixture of Whites, Blacks, and Spanish races. With very low number of those from the Chinese race. Though my town is mix it very segregated with it comes to residential homes. On the hillside of Ossining there is a lot of high class people and the south side, are apartments buildings where the lower class live. The middle class are usually scatted in various places throughout the town. Even in the schools, there are students with different races and cultures. Higher class hangs out with those of their class. Middle classes hangout with those from their class and the same is for the lower class. I remember in the high school cafeteria their was a segregation among the students. In the middle of the cafeteria are the students who are not as popular. On the south side of the cafeteria, are all the popular students. Cheerleaders sat next to each other, Athletics sat next to each other, and Jocks sat next to each other and the same for the Drama students. Basically if you were in any student actively you sat next to each other. All the outsiders where left out. There are at least two stores that the residents of Ossining Shop. One was Shop Rite which was in another town and Stop and Shop, located in Ossining. The prices in Shop Rite tend to be lower, those of the middle class and lower classed would shop there. At Stop and Shop, those of the higher class, shop there even though the prices are higher. At the Rec Center also know as the Recreation Center has diverse people joining in various at activities. No matter what activity, there were a diverse people at the Rec Center. In the town of Ossining, everyone would agree with me when I say that Lucy's Pizza, is the best pizza shop. It at this pizza shop where there is no segregation. Anyone from the high, middle or lower class will eat at Lucy's Pizza. When if comes to churches it is different. There are many churches that have a diverse people attending the congregations. There are shops along Broadway Street, in which there are Spanish corner stores, same for the Blacks corner stores. I have seen Ossining go through so many changes over the years. Recently they have change the community by building houses that not as affordable. In turn the lower classes are starting to leave the community. I guess even in the smallest town there is segregation though there is a mix race of people.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Advancing Social and Economic Justice (txbook journal #3)

I have always heard about the challenges that social workers face. With all the stories I’ve heard I am saddened by the injustice and the oppression some people go through. I know that in this career I will have to challenge social injustice. I hope that as I continue in my major and career as a social work that I will be able to recognize the problems and learn to understand and eliminate them. I always wonder if I will have the ability to help those who have needs. I have a fear that I want be able to. I wonder what mistakes I will make as a social work. I know that there are lives put in my hands and I will have to stand up for them as a social worker. There is a fear that when I do stand up for what is right, there will be conflicts among those around me. I like what what was said in chapter 3 "we need to acknowledge the courage it takes to be honest about this and the challenge each other to face." I need to realize that it not easy to speak up for what is right and it is okay to be challenge. In chapter 3, there are ways to overcome those fears in what is called the empowerment process. The first suggestion is to talk to those we are most comfortable with then we will have the ability to talk about the issues such as racism and prejudice to small groups and even in public meetings. I want to help people and I believe that I can combat this fear I will be able to more involved and more committed to getting issues across. Along with the process of the empowerment power also come with building relationships with other social workers who are racial different, have religious differences than mines. But I believe that I am ready to join in with people who will be working for social justice. Together with our differences we can achieve justice and help those in need.

With all the decisions that social workers are faced with there is values that “provided a road map” (101). The value of life, equality and justice is curial in dealing with human rights. The next is solidarity, in which the social workers identifies but take a stand with those who are in need. There needs to be a commitment in helping people. A social worker cannot be uninvolved but engaged with the people they are helping. In assisting the community of people, one must “learn, influenced and changed.” (103) I know that as I social worker I will have to work with people from all background and status in life. I need to be able to break free from fear and to be engaged in helping people.

Personal Jounal #3

Thoughts and feeling on today's class?

I don’t think I have been in a class discussion that has left me thinking to the point of having a headache. I remember when I was younger me and my grandma had a discussion about the color of my skin. She told me I was black and I told her I was brown. I never could understand why she kept calling me black, my skin was brown. I think from than on I started to understand the world. I now understand that when people look at me they see a black woman. While in class I felt very uncomfortable as I saw the list entitled “Agent and Target Group.” To be under the agent group, you had to be white, male, heterosexual, Christian, non-disabled, owning and upper middle class. To be under the target group you have to of a minority race, women, gay, bisexual, Jew, Muslim, disabled, lower middle and working class. I never thought as myself as a target person because I am a black woman and with disabilities. And the only reason I could be in the agent group was I am a Christian, heterosexual, and middle class. I don’t understand why people group people together based on what they look like and their status in life I get so frustrated when I hear people making stereotypes and putting people down because the color of their skin. My stomach turns in knots when I hear racist comments. There are some people that say all Christians are hypocrites and for that reason they don’t want to go to church. First of all, not all Christians are hypocrites and secondly it does not stop one from going to the mall where there are hypocrites. It is not a good reason to dislike Christians or choose not to go to church. I know that on talk shows I hear people say “I date white women because they are not controlling, not loud and not strong welled as a black women.” I also hear that “all black women are loud.” I get so mad because they are not realizing that they a making stereotypes. Whether you are Black, White, Spanish, or Chinese, you can be loud, controlling, strong welled. I have come to a realization of these things and it hurts. I can’t understand why people are like this. I do wish people could see the differences in each person as an individual not as a group. But I think there will always be racism in this world. I just hope people will handle there racism in the correct way and not looking down on someone because they are of a different race, higher or lower status in life.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Social Context ( textbook journal #2)

"Diversity focus on the differences that makes a person distinct and unique from another person" (Doman Lum p44)

The first time I heard the word diversity I thought it meant "color of your skin" or "your background" and "ethnicity." After reading Chapter 2, "Social Context", I started to understand diversity--that it not only meant ethnicity but ones beliefs, family culture, and so on. It is “what set you apart." When it comes to my background, I have little knowledge of my family history. The only knowledge I have of my family history is that I could be French because of my mother’s last name, “Moultrie.” I could also be British because of my father’s last name is “Braggs.” My dad is racially mixed but I am not certain what particular race. I remember my grandma talking about her African ancestors. I want to know more but that is all I know. I remember in middle school we had a culture project. I could hear the students talking in excitement about what they would bring. I felt left out, I did not know anything about my culture. All I knew was that I was black and because of my dad’s side of the family there is a little white blood in me. I thought about the questionnaire on page 46 Understanding Your Diversity Question: "describe yourself from a diversity and world view perspective (values, beliefs and culture).” What I came up with was that I am an African American women, I value my family, life and God. I do hope one day to have more understanding about diversity and hope to look deeper into my ancestry and where my ancestors came from.

Myths of African American Women:

I have heard a wide range of stereotypes about black women, both good and bad. Some say black women are "strong, hard-working, loud, negligent and the list goes on. I guess people get their thoughts about the women of color based of the media and not excluding family and friends. I know various movies that poke fun at African American women, showing them as loud, independent and always rolling their heads with their hands on their hips and always having a bad attitude. It saddens my heart that people look at what the television show say and assume that is how black women behave. I think many times people forget that it is only entertainment. Every Black woman has her individuality that sets her apart. There are some women that are more outgoing than others but that is what sets them apart.