Supporting Diversity

2637 Words11 Pages
Supporting Diversity

“Without awareness and knowledge of gender, race, culture, and ethnicity, therapists and other helping professionals could unwittingly engage in cultural oppression (A. Dunklin, Ph.D., personal communication, October, 2009). Dr. Dunklin is accurate in his statement. After surviving the destruction of the Third Reich, the civil rights’ movement of the 1960s and the women’s movement of the 1970s, it is hard to understand why the need for diversity still has to be discussed except that as a society, we are infants when dealing with diversity issues. There have been but one or two generations since World War II and the outlawing of segregation in the 1960s (Sciame-Giesecke, Roden, & Parkison, 2009). During this time, society has dealt with tremendous heartache and pain in the past seven decades because of discrimination due to a person’s religion, hair color, sex, disability, body weight, color of skin (or lack of color), sexual preferences, ethnic heritage, and so forth. These issues continue as obstacles to achieving cohesive communities. Neighborhoods, schools, churches, and the worlds of science and psychology provide examples of how much discrimination still remains. It is impossible to not engage in cultural oppression to some degree. Working in a cross culture situation could be likened to working in a cross language situation; unintended oppression approaches zero as “fluency” is obtained in the other language or culture (Dr. K. Seaman, personal communication, October 16, 2009). What is crucial to the success of obtaining “fluency” in diversity is to constantly submit ourselves to self-examination to improve our interactions with everyone we come in to contact with, in order to reduce ...

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