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Cultural Diversity, Breaking Barriers, & Racist Micro Aggressions
Some of the website resources for kids and children in lesbian and gay families: http://www.colage.org/ and it’s children of lesbian and gays and they have summer camps, places kids can go to be with kids with similar to them in background and then http://www.familieslikemine.com/ is a website dedicated to decreasing isolation for people who have parents that are lesbian, gay, bi, or transgender and allows kids to kind of talk about their family. So it really makes it more acceptable.
Bibliotherapy for kids from pre-school to eight, nine and up, teens, and adults there’s something out there if you are working with these families, there are a lot of resources available now that can help those families connect in with other families like themselves.
Our next group of families which would be multi-ethnic, or we sometimes refer to them as multi-racial, inner-racial families. In the beginning we did talk about how many people identified as multi-ethnic on the last census, which was actually the first time people were allowed to do that in our nation’s history. Before you had to declare one ethnicity or the other, you couldn’t choose both.
What they have found from that data is that multi-racial individuals are actually the fastest growing population in our country at this time. Part of that is due to the fact that interracial marriages have just become legal within the last forty of fifty years believe that or not. Many states still have laws on their books that would say you can’t marry someone of a different race. So as that’s become more socially acceptable, more individuals have entered interracial marriages and relationships and so there are more interracial children.
This particular intervention is very neat. Anyone know what a basic genogram is? What’s a genogram? It’s like a family tree. They use little symbols and lines and you draw your genogram. The neat thing that we do here is that we do this either in your office with someone, have them take it home, do it together as a family, it can be an individual doing it, one of the children, it can be a couple, however you choose to use it. But the purpose is to get an idea of the ethnic and racial makeup of their extended family structure, not just race either but are you Polish, are you German, bring in all of that to show the diversity within your family.
What you want to especially tune into is that there are the first generation of multi-ethnic or multiracial people and families. These are the first people who’ve kind of broke the mold within the family, they’ve kind of stepped outside of what is considered normal within their family. And so what impact has that had on them? When you do the genogram, you often draw the lines to show the significance of relationships. Well when you look at those lines, do you see that they’re broken or that it’s a stressed relationship and you might want to explore more why is that? Does it have to do with the fact that you entered a relationship with someone of a different race or is it something not even totally related to that? And again because I think we tend to be such visual people, we can say, “Oh look, it’s an interracial couple that must be why they’re having problems and that’s why the child’s having problems.” And we can’t jump to that conclusion. It can be anything and that’s important to remember.
Another thing about this is that oftentimes because there is still a lot of stigma or bias in families against doing this, against marrying someone or being in a relationship with someone with an opposite race, multiracial children often do not have the support of extended family. So when you see these genograms, they may actually be very, very small because the child, especially, may not feel it. Well I don’t see Grandma, I haven’t seen Grandma or Grandpa since I was three, we stopped visiting. You’re gonna want to explore that and what’s that like for that child? What’s it like for the parents? For the whole family? To not be able to have support where they might otherwise would have had it had they made the correct choice according to their family and not followed who they felt they really were.
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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