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Small Group Dialogues on Diversity, Oppression, & Social Justice UNC School Of Social Work Jumpstart: Preparation For Practice August 15, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Small Group Dialogues on Diversity, Oppression, & Social Justice UNC School Of Social Work Jumpstart: Preparation For Practice August 15, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Small Group Dialogues on Diversity, Oppression, & Social Justice UNC School Of Social Work Jumpstart: Preparation For Practice August 15, 2014

2 Welcome!! “In this activity, we will reflect on the legacies of oppression & social change that profoundly influence the practice of social work … We will begin to know one another as advocates; discuss the History of Oppression & Resistance; share experiences; & understand how awareness & confrontation of social injustice are woven into the curriculum. Our hope is that you will leave appreciating the gravity of the issues, coupled with excitement & hopefulness about your potential as agents of positive change.” From Jump Start Program: To lay a foundation for active reflection on oppression & social injustice throughout your social work education. Purpose of the Dialogues:

3 Why is this Important?  Conscious, critical reflection on social justice is central to social work practice & relevant to all work with marginalized groups Oppression often relies on unconscious, uncritical acceptance of assumptions AND, human service systems have the potential to perpetuate & reinforce oppression

4 From the Code of Ethics Social workers pursue social change…with & on behalf of vulnerable & oppressed groups Social workers act to expand choice & opportunity…with special regard for vulnerable, disadvantaged, oppressed, & exploited people Social workers promote policies & practices that demonstrate respect for difference …safeguard rights…& confirm equity & social justice Social workers act against … domination, exploitation, & discrimination based on race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, marital status, politics, religion, immigration, disability

5 Advocate’s Autobiography  A chance to share experiences that shaped you as an advocate  Share an example (a critical incident, perhaps) from your own life What was important or significant about this experience? How did it support or challenge your assumptions & world views? What did you learn about the joyful &/or painful dimensions of advocacy?  What lessons have you carried forward?

6 Five Faces of Oppression The fruits of labor of one group are used to benefit another, to maintain power, status, & wealth Exploitation Exclusion from the economy resulting in material deprivation & dependency, loss of privacy, choice, inclusion Marginalization Lack of authority or means to exercise rights. Persons are devalued, cannot develop capacities Powerlessness Establishment of a dominant group’s experience, culture, & understanding as the norm; others rendered invisible &/or deviant. Cultural Imperialism Directed at members of vulnerable or marginalized groups; violence is systemic, tolerated, & based on fear & bigotry. Violence

7 Exploitation  Chinese immigrants Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882  African Americans Persistent exploitation of sharecroppers Tuskegee experiments  American Indians Taking & mismanagement of Native land

8 Marginalization  Exclusion of women & people of color from labor protections  Educational segregation of African American students  Exclusion of Jewish persons from labor force & engagement in social & economic institutions

9 Powerlessness  Reproductive & sexual exploitation/colonization, & political disenfranchisement of women  Institutionalization & oppression of persons with disabilities

10 Cultural Imperialism  Oppression based on culturally constructed & sanctioned hierarchies of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, & birthplace Black Codes Women’s Suffrage Redlining & the GI Bill Discrimination against Mexican Americans

11 Violence  Violent acts perpetrated on African Americans, Mexican Americans, women, LGBTQ persons, Native peoples Lynching Police raids & riots Outright slaughter Exposure to disease Sterilization

12 Discussing the material in the form of “dialogue”

13 Dialogue: A Unique Process Focus: Binaries Goals: Persuade others & point out flaws Success: Persuasiveness of argument, winning Debate Focus: A range of perspectives Goals: Analysis & understanding Success: Decisions, conclusions, action steps Discussion Focus: Personal experience Goals: Awareness, empathy, appreciation of complexity, identification of shared & disparate experiences Success: Depth of understanding, continued dialogue, collaboration Dialogue

14 Dialogue Guidelines  Assume positive intent Articulating our thoughts can be tricky – let’s give each other space to say things imperfectly, &/or try again  Ask clarifying questions focused on understanding rather than debating “Help me to understand …” “I’m curious about …” “My experience with that has been a little different”  Commit to confidentiality, realizing its limits  Monitor your level of participation

15 Online Course Discussion What is striking to you from the material that you reviewed? What feelings are evoked? What could you relate to on a personal or professional level? What was surprising to you? Beginning the discussion Where do you see the legacy of these historical events playing out in our society & culture presently? How might dynamics of oppression impact the lives of your clients &/or your work with them? Deepening the discussion What patterns do you see/hear? Why does understanding this history matter? Synthesizing

16 Social Work Education Explores social injustice in historical, personal, institutional, & cultural manifestations Develops a way of seeing & thinking about the people whom we serve Fosters the ability to function as an ALLY

17 What is an Ally?  “… a member of a dominant group [who] works to dismantle any form of oppression from which she or he receives benefit [&] who engages in intentional, overt, consistent activity that makes privilege visible & facilitates empowerment of persons targeted by oppression” Ayvazian, 2004

18 Becoming an Ally Awareness of … One’s privilege & role in oppression The experience of oppression for marginalized groups Analysis of… Interactions & systems that promote or condone oppression Action… Speaking out against oppressive statements, actions, systems Joining with other allies & members of oppressed groups in social action Accountability… To oneself, one’s ethical code, one’s clients, one’s community Commitment to ongoing education & self reflection

19 Inspiration!  Quotes shared by School of Social Work Faculty  Which ones resonate particularly for you?

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