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Class Descriptions

Prevention and intervention strategies with racial microaggressions


Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None

Pathway Associations

Community Change
Interpersonal PracticeElective (Host)
Mgmt & Leadership
Policy & Political
Program Evaluation
Older Adults
Children & Families

Course Description

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.


Explain mistrust, its historical basis, and implications for engagement outcomes that African Americans bring to social work services.
Define racial microaggressions and their relation to racism.
Compare and contrast same-race and cross-racial social work services situations.
Describe three forms of racial microaggressions and the themes observed in the various forms.
Analyze competing perspectives in labeling or interpreting the occurrence of a racial microaggression.
Discuss dilemmas African Americans face in identifying and addressing racial microaggressions.
Assess effects of racial microaggressions on the physical, social, and psychological well-being of African Americans as identified in current research literature.
Examine the impact of encounters with racial microaggressions on outcomes of social work services.
Explore racial microaggressions in one-on-one, community, management, policy, and practice interactions.
Describe cultural respect as an alternative to racial microaggressions in early interactions with African American service recipients.
Demonstrate intervening strategies in the occurrence of a racial microaggression in a one-on-one.
Develop a plan to create an atmosphere of sensitization to racial microaggressions in social work services systems.


This course will include assigned readings, PowerPoint presentations, video clips, case studies, and small-group problem-solving.

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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