Multicultural competencies are involved in every step of the helping professional’s role and counseling process. Multicultural competencies are not necessarily a distinct theory but rather they represent a transtheoretical approach to working with clients. Similar to the stages of change wherein all clients may be regarded as “in the process of seeking help and changing oneself,” (Prochaska & DiClemente, 2005), multicultural competencies are meant to be considerations made by helping professionals in every step of the counseling process. How might one create better relationships with the client? How might interventions be better adapted for the client? How might the working alliance be strengthened? In all of these questions, the helping professional should be assessing levels of multiculturalism related to understanding one’s own worldview, culture, values, and biases and those of the clients as well.
Junot Diaz is a Dominican-American writer who wrote “How to date a brown girl, black girl, white girl, or a halfie”, which the textual analysis of its contain a Multicultural.
“The basic goal of multicultural education is to help all children understand and appreciate events and people from various points of view” (Welton, 113).
Richard Rorty disagrees with Searle about the relation between philosophical theories of truth and academic practices, but he is neutral on the issue of multiculturalism.
That is one of global feminism’s aims, so it would seem that multiculturalism would help, not hinder, feminist work to better the situation of women....
During this period, pressure was placed on the Federal Government to examine their roles in the perseverance of inequalities when it came to Multicultural Education (Russell, Robert, The History of Multicultural Education, 2011)....
More specifically, the advent of a growing diversity in the United States, and worldwide, is an important impetus for psychologists, counselors, and other helping professionals to develop competencies to work with these different communities. For the future, diversity is a compelling need which psychologists and helping professionals need to meet. History is an equally important justification and one that is sometimes overlooked or not focused upon because it may be deemed as not relevant to multicultural competencies. Yet history, and a thorough understanding of it as it pertains to diversity and multiculturalism, helps us understand why we are discussing and learning about diverse others at all. As I just noted, the United States has always had diversity and diverse individuals and communities. I believe it would be safe to assume that there were women, racial and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, and gay and lesbian people throughout the history of the United States. What history allows us to understand better is why this diversity is not reflected in our history texts, our cultural knowledge, and our important institutions such as law and education. What we can usually learn from our uncovering of these diverse histories is the ways in which these peoples and communities were segregated, isolated, and marginalized. And the ways in which these diverse communities were disregarded and invalidated helps us to understand how these problems still persist today and how these issues may manifest in an individual’s worldview. For helping professionals, deciphering, uncovering, and then connecting these historical and systemic issues to the client’s presenting concerns, and linking them to how the client will become better, is an integral aspect of multiculturalism. History and an analysis of these dynamics allow us to introduce topics such as privilege, power, exclusion, marginalization, and resilience. All of these topics, which will be covered later in this course, are pertinent in the ways in which know and do not know about culturally diverse others, our biases and stereotypes, and our assumptions in our work within these communities.
One of the difficulties people have with multicultural competencies is the belief that they must know and master all the ways in which people are diverse, immediately. I hear this often in my courses where students, as they start to learn about one cultural group, start to see the immensity of that one cultural group and they grow frustrated in having to learn about many different cultural groups. I often try to reframe their experience in class and explain that in part, they are a product of their learning environment and many of them have not yet been challenged and/or exposed to a diverse literature or histories.
Only 9% of preservice teachers indicate they would prefer to teach in urban or multiculturalcontexts, and fewer than 3 percent are able to instruct in a language other than English (AmericanAssociation of Colleges for Teacher Education, 1989).
Although the term “multicultural education” had not come into play yet, the idea that the U.S needed to reexamine their efforts of educating diverse groups was emerging.
The other issue that many students struggle with is their own cultural encapsulation. By this I mean that some students and individuals come from environments where they are the dominant group or a member of the majority group; their assumptions about the world are normalized by those around them; and they tend to associate with culturally similar individuals. One also has a particular cultural framework to interact with the world and that framework typically is derived from how one was raised, and not much can make that worldview change. It is even possible that an individual can travel the world and interact with diverse peoples and still be culturally encapsulated; the individual, in his/her interactions with diverse peoples, still focuses on how “others” are different or similar to Americans, for instance, and there is no real attempt to understand or learn the other person’s worldview. As a result, some of these individuals find it difficult to develop a new framework to understand and integrate cultural knowledge and awareness from other groups.