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Cultural Diversity, Breaking Barriers, & Racist Micro Aggressions
Good afternoon. I’m Suzanne Degges-White I’m a professor here at Purdue University Calumet Counseling Program and this is my colleague. My name is Kim Harrison. I am a graduate of the program at Purdue Calumet and I am currently a doctoral student at Roosevelt University in Chicago.
Okay and what we want to share with you today is some information about working with culturally diverse families and when we talk about culturally diverse families, we’re going to be looking at non-traditional families in a variety of flavors.
Our little heading here is, “They don’t look like my family.” A lot of times we have stereotypical ideas of what a family should look like. What are some ideas that come up for you when you think of family? When you think about the readers you saw in first and second grade. What do families look like?
Jason, “Mom and Dad, kids.”
Other ideas about the stereotypical family? From the sitcoms of the ‘50s, ‘60s. Live in a perfect house. Perfect house, perfect life. Anything that goes wrong they can solve in thirty minutes or less or 60 minutes if it is a 60 minute show. Everything can be neatly packages and bundled up. But today, what do we know about families when we work with kids or we see people in crisis. What do we know about families today? They are ethically diverse for one. Yeah, ethically diverse. Single parent. Single parent families a lot of times. Apartments. Yeah, apartments. Relatives. Caring for their kids. So a lot of different varieties in what as young children we often see in the media.
I want to talk a little about diversity now. We don’t have a large group, but like everyone here who’s a first born to stand up. If you’re a first born. If you’re a baby stand up. Look around the room. Look at the other babies. Look at the ones who aren’t babies. Okay, ya’ll can sit down. If you grew up in a rural area stand up. If you grew up in an inner-city stand up. If you grew up in a home with two parents, Mom and Dad, never divorced stand up. Look around. If you grew up in a family where there was a divorce stand up. If you’re male stand up. If you’re female stand up. Turn around. If you’re over 20 stand up. If you’re over 30 stand up. If you’re over 35 go ahead and stand. Look around the room. I’m asking about ethnicity here, if you’re not Caucasian stand up. Right here we are a very homogenous group. If you’re straight stand up. If you’re ever dates who is not your own race sit down. If you dated somebody that was not Caucasian.
How did it feel to be different Rose when you’re the only one 35 and over besides me? How did it feel to be different? Older, outcast. Do they relate to me? So you beyond the fact that I’m older, but you’re thinking, “I am different from them. They might not like me or value me as much as I feel like I should be valued?” For those of you that have dated outside of your own race, how did it feel when you sat down that not everyone did. What was that like? No big deal. A lot of times when we do this activity there are people who are very different and are there are people that didn’t stand or sit down when they could have qualified for the questions? Was everybody true to who they are? Usually you are the majority here because there is a lot of us homogenous group. But imagine what it would have been like if you were the one person who was different and felt uncomfortable enough to sit down for something they didn’t qualify for or not to stand up for something they qualified for.
To be aware that some people are different and feel uncomfortable with their differences, that is what we would like to talk about today, working with families who are different than what you expect and what you see when you sit around your table at night.
Like I said, we will look at several different flavors of families. Just some data, some facts. Between 6.2 and 7.5 million U.S. citizens have mental retardation to some degree, so that tells us there’s probably an equal number of families that are dealing with someone who is different in that way. There are approximately 6 million children that are living with gay and lesbian parents, which tells us there are probably that many number of families give or take. Over 6.8 million individuals identified as multiethnic in the most recent census, those are people that actually identified that way; there are people who don’t always identify with what they are for whatever reason. And 30-40% of children born each year will suffer from a significant long-term disorder some time during their first 18 years of life, which tells us this is a huge group of families being affected by some problems, some differences maybe they weren’t expecting. Any thoughts about these statistics?
How many people are there? 298 million, we’re almost up to 300 million, and the people that are more likely to seek help are going to be ones dealing with some form, they will be the ones who do feel different.
Below are the PowerPoints that accompany
the instructor's lecture for this track.
- Degges-White, S. (2008). Working with Culturally Diverse Families. Lecture presented at the Indiana Counseling Association Annual Conference.
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