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Culturally-Responsive Practice with African American Communities


Credits: 2
Prerequisites: None

Course Description

Distrust based on a history of unsatisfactory experiences with human service professionals and low retention in, and premature termination of services can reduce successful outcomes for members of African American communities. Participants in this course will examine racial microaggressions in practice as a source of these outcomes. Participants will define and identify racial microaggressions and their impact on clients and on the professional relationship. Attention will be given to the cultural context in the way racial microaggressions are experienced and dilemmas about how to respond. The effect of power differentials on the interpretation of racial microaggressions will be examined. Using an African-centered perspective, the course will be knowledge-, skills-, and values-based and will include assigned readings, powerpoint presentations, video-clips, case studies, and small-group presence of problem-solving. Participants will practice alternative methods of intervening when in the racial microaggressions


Upon completion of this course, students will be able to
1. Identify similarities and differences in same-race and cross-racial social work services situations.
2. Describe culturally responsiveness related to Social Work Practice
3. Explain common challenges and effective strategies that impact outcomes of Black/African American identified participants in human services
4. Explain the effects of non-culturally appropriate service delivery on the physical, social, and psychological well-being of Black/African-American people as identified in current research literature.
5. Describe the NASW code of ethics position related to cultural responsibility of professionals
6. Label, categorize and address ethical dilemmas specific to practice with Black/African American client systems
7. Participate in practice in cultural respect and humility with Black/African American service recipients.


This course includes readings, lectures, guest speakers and interactive engagement of participants. Students will engage in the practice of assessment and intervention skills during course sessions

Active engagement in intervention practice, engaging in role plays, observation and critical analysis of various interventions, matching interventions to client needs, and mutual constructive feedback is critical to the skill development focus of this class.

Intensive Focus on Privilege, Oppression, Diversity and Social Justice (PODS)

This course integrates PODS content and skills with a special emphasis on the identification of theories, practice and/or policies that promote social justice, illuminate injustices and are consistent with scientific and professional knowledge. Through the use of a variety of instructional methods, this course will support students developing a vision of social justice, learn to recognize and reduce mechanisms that support oppression and injustice, work toward social justice processes, apply intersectionality and intercultural frameworks and strengthen critical consciousness, self-knowledge and self-awareness to facilitate PODS learning.

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