Reflective Essay Assignment | Reflective Essay

Identity, Positionality, Cultural Humility:

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The Full Circle Introduction: Discrimination in all its possible forms and expressions is one of the most common forms of human rights violations and abuse. It affects millions of people every day and it is one of the most difficult to recognize. Discrimination and intolerance are closely related concepts. Intolerance is a lack of respect for practices or beliefs other than one’s own. It also involves the rejection of people whom we perceive as different, for example, members of a social or ethnic group other than ours, or people who are different in political or sexual orientation. Intolerance can manifest itself in a wide range of actions from avoidance through hate speech to physical injury or even murder.

Discrimination occurs when people are treated less favorably than other people in a comparable situation only because they belong, or are perceived to belong to a certain group or category of people. People may be discriminated against because of their age, disability, ethnicity, origin, political belief, race, religion, sex or gender, sexual orientation, language, culture, and many other grounds. Discrimination, which is often the result of prejudices people hold, makes people powerless, impedes them from becoming active citizens, restricts them from developing their skills, and, in many situations, from accessing work, health services, education, or accommodation.

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Discrimination has direct consequences on those people and groups being discriminated against, but it has also indirect and deep consequences on society as a whole. A society where discrimination is allowed or tolerated is a society where people are deprived of freely exercising their full potential for themselves and for society.

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No matter what culture a person is a part of, one thing is for certain, culture does change, this makes it difficult to define. However, the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition defines culture as “shared patterns of behaviors and interactions, cognitive constructs, and understanding that are learned by socialization”. Thus, it can be seen as the growth of a group identity fostered by social patterns unique to the group.

“Culture encompasses religion, food, what we wear, how we wear it, our language, marriage, music, what we believe is right or wrong, how we sit at the table, how we greet visitors, how we behave with loved ones, and a million other things,” Source:

1. Resources

The resources provided here are additional to the resources provided throughout the semester

What Unconscious Bias Looks Like (notes)

Take an Implicit Bias Test from Project Implicit

Power and Privilege Definitions

The terrifying power of stereotypes – and how to deal with them

Why Color-Blindness Is a Counterproductive Ideology

Why People Cling to Racist Ideas

The Myth of Colorblindness – Identity, Education, and Power

Semester Reflection

In lieu of a final exam, you will submit a reflective essay on course concepts

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There are two parts to complete – please number your answers in alignment with the questions

Part 1: Themes Key themes from A Spirit Catches You…:

History & Ethnic Identity

Blame & Power

Integration & Assimilation

Cultural Values, Spirituality, & Medicine

Key themes from this course identity,

positionality, intersectionality

cultural humility power,

privilege racism, classism

oppression, discrimination

1. Focusing on the key themes from the book A Spirit Catches You, and key themes from this course, discuss what you have learned over the course of this semester, and explain how you will apply these lessons learned to your professional life. the weekly book discussions will help you with this question your answer should be 1 – 1.5 pages in length a minimum of four sources must be cited in your reflection – these can be selected from any of the resources provided within course materials, and/or from your own research

Part 2: Personal Power & Privilege 1. Reflect on your unconscious bias and share your thoughts after completing one of the unconscious bias tests (link provided in the resources). How does your unconscious bias impact a) your identity, b) your positionality, and c) your professional practice? 2. Define the meaning of the term color blindness and regardless of your personal opinion and/or experience, discuss the negative outcomes for people of color when this perspective is taken

3. Can someone experience both oppression and privilege? Explain your response with examples.

4. Consider your socialization from infant to youth to adult (consider family and social relationships, education, healthcare, and other social institutions). Has your life been shaped and impacted by your culture? Explain.

5. Reflect back on your presentation on identity and culture (Week 1) – how would you now define your positionality? How would you now define intersectionality? Has anything changed in your thinking about your identity, from Week 1? Your answers should be presented as 5 discrete responses (not as a single essay), numbered in alignment with the questions (1 – 5)

All resources referred to must be cited in-text, and in a reference list in APA format. At a minimum, questions 1, 2, and 3 must be supported with resources.

Your answers to each question can be concise – but must be written in full sentences (not bullet points), with a minimum of 1 paragraph per question.

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