SW325 Human Diversity & Social Justice

for FA 2006

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


SW 325 Human Diversity and Social Justice


FA 2006 HO


Rinehart, Deborah


Adjunct Faculty



Office Location


Office Hours

By appointment

Daytime Phone

(816) 753-5171

Other Phone

(816) 584-6503



Semester Dates

August 21 - December 8, 2006

Class Days


Class Time

3:50 - 5:05 PM



Credit Hours



Race, Class, and Gender in the United States  Sixth Edition  Rothenberg, P.S., ISBN: 0-7167-5515-7

White Privilege, Essential Readings on the Other Side of Racism  Rothenberg, P.S., ISBN: 0-7167-5295-6

Textbooks can be purchased though the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased though the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.

Course Description:

This course provides a foundation of knowledge for more effective social work practice with a diversity of individuals and groups. It explores the background, world view and special needs of groups which vary in such respects as race and ethnicity, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, and age. It is recommended that SO 315 be taken prior to SW 325. 3:0:3

This course focuses on the changing nature of American society, examining a range of experiences and issues related to diversity.  You will be introduced to principles and methocs of analyzing the interrelationship of race, ethnicity, class, gender, religion, language, sexual orientation, physical disabilities, and the systems that have shaped our experiences.  This course is based upon the premise that racial and wthnic divisions exist in society and that these differences result in instances of social and economic injustice, discrimination, distrust, conflict, and violence.  A generalist preparation in social work encourages the exploration and understanding of diverse groups and cultures, measures of cross-cultural competence, and the promotion of social justice.  Students will be asked to engage in critical inquiry and reflection; to construct meaning by connecting new information obtained from your readings, class discussions, audio-visual materials to your own personal experience and observations; and to explain and propose solutions.  The goals and purposes of this course are to enhance effectiveness in analyzing how power, resources, cultural standards and institutional practices and procedures are used to perpetuate the oppression of various groups in the past and present.

Educational Philosophy:

Social work as a profession emerged in response to the many challenges, inequalities and threats to the world's most vulnerable populations.  The demographic of those populations is constantly evolving, as is the nature of challenge's that increasingly confront us all.

It is vitally important that citizens, regardless of their professional identity, be prepared to efficiently and critically consider their environment in order to identify, strategize, and communicate an effective response to the matters before them.  This is as true in business, science, education and government service as it is in social work.

It is the intent of the faculty in the Department of Social Work to facilitate learners in the acquisition of such knowledge as will serve them, their families and their communities, throughout thier lives.  Through the semester, world and local events will occur which may influence our academic, personal, or professional pursuits.  In light of such circumstances, the instructor reservies the right to amend the schedule of study.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate the value of critical thinking as essential for the function of informed and responsible citizenry.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the value of diversity and cultivate an awareness of the similarities and differences among individuals and populations.
  3. Demonstrate a capacity to recognize and respond to social and political injustices.
  4. Demonstrate how understanding and acceptance of people who are different enables us to move toward a society that values rather than tolerates differences.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding that diversity is more than race and recognize that gender, race, and ethnic identity are socially constructed.
  6. Communicate an understanding of the special challenges and skills required for effective practice with diverse and at-risk populations.
  7. Express understanding of the public and private social welfare system related to the service needs of diverse populations.
  8. Describe your own personal values in the context of human diversity and social justice.

Core Assessment:

-Exam (LO 1-3, 6)

- “Letter from Jail” Essay (LO 3,8)

-Article Reviews (4)(LO 1)

-Publishable Article (LO 5,7,8)


-Core Assessment Assignment ;”Faces of Opression” paper

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

Core Assessment Paper  "Faces of Oppression": See above description

The American Dream Essay - In 2-3 pages, describe what the "American Dream" means to you.  You must use correct spelling, grammar, double-space and 12 font.  Correct format also means indenting paragraphs and not making a space between paragraphs.  If any quotes or sources are used, these must be cited in correct APA format. 

Jail Letter - Imagine that you have been incarcerated following an action of "civil disobedience".  Your actions leading to the incarceration were intended on your part to represent your protest of some unjust aspect in society.  This assignment consists of your writing a letter to a family member, close friend, co-worker,  public official or the public.  Address the following issues in the letter for proper credit:    - What was the issue you were protesting.  This should be something you feel strongly about.  - What makes this issue so important to you.  -What did you hope to accomplish with your civil disobedience.  - Were there other means of protest you did or could have used to get your point across. - Do you have a spiritual or ethical element related to your interest in this issue. - What further action might you plan to take. - Would you ever use violence to accomplish your goal.  You need to follow the guidelines and respond to each point noted.  This needs to be typed (we'll pretend the jail is allowing you use of their computers) and in the proper format of a formal letter with address, names and salutations.

Class Issues of Wealth and Power Paper: 1. How do you personally define "class" in America?  Citing from the readings, describe how your definition fits or differs from that of any other authors.  Cite and reference at least two other authors; one of whom supports your position and one that does not support your perspective. 2. Using the article by Gregory Mantisios (Race, Class & Gender: p. 193-207) discuss your thoughts regarding "the four myths" as well as any four of the eight "realities about class in America".  3.  Describe your understanding of the wage gap relative to sex, race and education.  Provide examples from the text (or other referenced sources) to support your ideas for each item.  4.  Briefly discuss how the media portrays images of the wealth and class in America.  Do you feel this is a fair and realistic portrayal?  Please cite specific exmaples that support your position.  If you use any citations, even from the text, they must be properly cited (APA).  (4-5 pages)

Review on Racism: Provide four definitions of racism including your own.  Discuss your feelings regarding each definition.  Discuss the concept of white privilege based on your readings and personal experience.  Give examples and discuss your feelings about each.  Describe two examples of racism from your personal experience and two examples of institutional racism that you are aware of personally or that you are aware of from readings.  Referring to Beverly Tatum's article on page 127 of White Privilege what is the distinction she makes between racist and racism.  Do you agree or disagree.  Discuss this.  Provide and discuss three examples of how language perpetuates racism.  According to Feagi and Vera, Race Class and Gender, p 124, how do antiracists come to recognize their own racism.   Based on all your various readings, what are your suggestions to overcoming racism. (4-5pages)

Sexism paper: Describe the concept of sexism from at least three differing sources; including one of your own.  These perspectives may be contradictory.  Document at least one published source that explains, defends, justifies, or rationalizes each perspective.   Discuss gender roles in our society.  Discuss the popular images of men and women and how this contributes or distracts from sexism. What is the correlation between gender roles and sexism?  Use outside sources in addition to your own opinion.  What do you believe is the solution to sexism in our society.  Describe from your own life at least two examples of sexims that you have personally experienced or observed. (4-5 pages)

Homophobia/heterosexism: Define homophobia and heterosexism.  Use your opinion plus another source.  Discuss your opinion as to how people become homophobic.  Describe at least one rationalization or justification for homophobia.  Describe a realistic response that may diminish ones rationalization or justifications for homophobia.  Based on your own life experiences, what are some sterotypes of gays and lesbians.  Describe some means of refuting or diminishing these stereotypes.   How do these stereotypes or images of GLBT relate to how they are treated.  Describe two examples o the obstackes other than violence that confront GLBT in seeking civil equality and justice.  Discuss two examples of what can be done ot confront and perhaps diminish anti-gay violence.  One example may be what you could do.  (NOTE: This assignment is not intended to compel you to lie about or accept a lifestyle that may be contrary to your personal values.  It is intended to compel you to think about how we treat others in a civil and just manner.) (4-5 pages)

Take-Home mid-term/final - essay

Journal - Each student will keep a daily journal to address areas where they observe or experience prejudice.  This can include anything from blonde jokes to extreme cases.  Includes something seen on television.  Need to address reaction.  Must note things daily and will turn in on every Friday.



Core Assessment: Faces of Oppression - 25%

The American Dream - 5%

Jail letter - 5%

Class issues of Wealth and Power - 10%

Racism - 10%

Sexism - 10%

Homophobia/heterosexism - 10%

Attendance/participation - 10%

Mid-term - 5%

Final (take-home) 5%

Journal - 5%

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Assignments are due at the beginning of the class on the date indicated.  Assignments not submitted on time will receive a deduction of 10% of the possible score per day.  The paper will not be accepted after the third day late.  Contact instructor in a timely manner regarding any questions on any assignments. 

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Due to the sensitive nature of the material covered in this class, it is important that an environment conducive to open discussion of potentially uncomfortable and emotional issues be promoted.  If any student feels they cannot adhere to any of these rules, they may want to consider another course.  Any breech of these standards may impact the final grade.  The following are the rules of conduct for this class:

1. Class attendance is imperative.  Failure to attend class regularly means a student loses out on the valuable information provided by other students.

2. Tardiness is disruptive to the class and will result in points being deducted from the final grade.

3. Active participation is imperative in the classroom.  In order to actively participate, the student must come to class prepared for that class.  This means the reading needs to be completed.

4. All papers are to be written in 12-font, double-spaced, using APA style.  Sources must be used and adequately cited.  Wikipedia is not considered an appropriate source.  If it is used it must be cited but it does not count for the number of sources.

5. Personal perspectives including differences will be valued.  Degrading or discriminatory remarks or behaviors are not acceptable.

6. Due to the sensitive material, courtesy and respect must be maintained at all times.  This includes students not having private conversations while others are talking.

7. If a student's behavior in the classroom is disruptive, the instructor will allow the student an opportunity to correct the behavior without consequences.  If the behavior continues to be disruptive, the student may be asked to leave the classroom and may be referred to the Office of Academic Affairs.

8. In this class, we will be acknowledging that discrimination exists in many forms.

9. We will acknowledge that any critical discussion of the many "isms" involved in discrimination may mean that we need to recognize that we have learned and believed misinformation about our own respective groups as well as members of other groups.

10. We cannot be blamed for the misinformation we have learned, but we may be held responsible for propagating information that we know to be untrue or malicious.

11. We will actively pursue information about our own group and those of others.

12. We will share information about our own groups with other members of the class, and we will not demean, devalue, or in any way negate another's experience.

13. We each have an obligation to actively analyze, understand, and confront unjust and inaccurate stereotypes in the interest of domestic and international justice.

15. We will create a positive atmosphere for open discussion, even though learning may at times be frightening, painful or uncomfortable.

16. We will focus on the solution, not the indivduals.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

American Dream Essay - due 8/29

Letter from Jail - due 9/5

Class in America - due 9/26

Racism essay - due 10/10

Midterm exam - due 10/24

Sexism - due 10/31

Homophobia/heterosexism - due 11/14

Core assessment - due 11/28

Final exam - due 12/7 (take- home)


Class Activities,,Class Activities,,Class Activities,,Class Activities,,Class Activities,,Class Activities,,Class Activities,,Class Activities,,Class Activities,



Week One
Aug 22/24

Race Class and Gender: Intro (p5), #58, 59, 11, 16, 18
White Privilege: #2



Week Two
Aug 29/31

RCG: #58, 59, 11, 13, 16, 18, p.273, #106
WP: Intro (p5), #1, 2, 3 part 1

American Dream Essay due


Week Three
Sep 5/7

RGB: #47, 57, 10, 21, 53, 112
WP: #5 part 2



Week Four
Sep 12/14

RCG: Part VI intro, #84-88

Letter from Jail due


Week Five
Sep 19/21

WP: 2 part 2, 1 part 2&4, 5 part 3
RCG: Part II Intro, #1, 3, 14, 12, 24, 61, 62



Week Six
Sep 26/28

WP: Intro to book, part 1 #1&3, 3 part 3, 4 part 3

Class in America essay due


Week Seven
Oct 3/5

RCG: #5, 109, 25, 17, 72, 102, 103, 110, 99 46, 111



Week Eight
Oct 10/12

RCG: #27, 28, 56, 401, 403, 81, 43, 7, 8, 107, 118, 19
WP: 5 part 2

Essay on racism due


Week Nine
Oct 17/19

Fall Break - no class



Week Ten
Oct 24/26

RCG: 35, 36, 71, 75, 104, 105, intro part 3


Take home midterm due

Week Eleven
Oct 31/Nov 2

RCG: 116, 117, 123
WP: part 4 #2

Sexism essay due


Week Twelve
Nov 7/9

RCG: 70, 74, 22



Week Thirteen
Nov 14/16

RCG: 31, 83, 97

Essay on Homophobia/heterosexism due


Week Fourteen
Nov 21/23
23rd Thanksgiving holidy

RCG: 9, 39, 34, 42, 78, 80



Week Fifteen
Nov 28/30

RCG: 79, 116, 117, 123
WP: 2 part 3

Core assessment assignment due


Week Sixteen
Dec 5/7

WP: Part 4 #3
GCR: 125


Take home final due

Week Seventeen
Finals week




Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-89

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "W".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .

2006 sw325 syllabus.doc


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)

•Identifies the 5 “Faces of Oppression” relative to each of the assigned 4 areas of risk.

•Contribution in class discussion reflects interpretation & awareness of oppression  related to the reading,  to self, and to similar but unrelated world events.

•Responds to comments by others in a matter that leads to exploration of new or unique perspectives..


•Identifies the 5 “Faces of Oppression” relative to each of the assigned 4 areas of risk. CO1,3,6,7

•Contribution in class discussion reflects interpretation & awareness of oppression  related to the reading and to self.

•Responds to comments by others.


•Identifies one of the “Faces of Oppression” relative to each of the assigned 4 areas of risk.

•Contributes in class only by direct prompting or by responding to comments by others.


•Fails to link the “Faces of Oppression” to the areas of risk.

•Does not contribute verbally to discussion.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Multicultural                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
•Identifies three or more distinct risks/challenges/actions in each of the 4 areas of risk.

•Relates the reading to personal and contemporary values & behaviors.

•Identifies two distinct risks/challenges/actions in each of the 4 areas of risk. CO1,3,6

•Relates the reading to personal and contemporary values & behaviors. CO2,4,6,8

•Identifies a risk/challenge/action in each of the 4 areas of risk.

•Relates the reading to a single personal or contemporary values or behaviors

•Fails to identify risks / challenges / actions in any one of the 4 areas of risk.

•Relates a single personal or contemporary value without linking to the reading.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Multicultural                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
•Relative to women and children: Identifies & applies knowledge from  multiple historical or culturally isolated event to multiple  contemporary domestic and/or world issues. •Relative to women and children: Identifies & applies knowledge from a historical or culturally isolated event to a contemporary domestic or world issues. CO2,4,5,6 •Links a historical or culturally isolated event to a contemporary domestic or world issues. •Identifies a contemporary or historical war or conflict. 
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Multicultural                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
No factual errors No more than 2 factual errors relative to the assigned reading. 3 to 4 factual errors 5 or more factual errors 
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Multicultural                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
Appropriately identifies and links the “faces of oppression” to circumstances described in the reading. Extrapilates on the circumstances to understand or anticipate other forces of oppression not specifically described. Appropriately identifies and links the “faces of oppression” to circumstances described in the reading. Identifies “faces of oppression” without establishing a link to events described in the reading. Inappropriately identifies or misinterprets the “faces of oppression.” Does not link the “faces” to events described in the reading. 
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Multicultural                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
Identifies two or more potential barriers or negative outcomes.

Identifies an alternative intervention to counter any barriers or negative outcomes.

Clearly describes personal insight, values and judgements relative to the events described. Describes a personal judgement or opinion relative to the events described. Relates a personal judgement without linking it to the reading.

Whole Artifact                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
No errors in writing conventions 1 to 5 errors in spelling or grammar 6 to 10 errors in spelling or grammar 10+ grammatical or spelling errors. 
Contains no errors in the following paper format items:



-Page numbers

-Works cited

-Internal documentation

Contains only 1 error in the following paper format items:



-Page numbers

-Works cited

-Internal documentation

Contains 2 to 3 errors in the following paper format items:



-Page numbers

-Works cited

-Internal documentation

Contains 4 or more errors in the following paper format items:



-Page numbers

-Works cited

-Internal documentation

•Exhibits an awareness and concern for matters of social & economic justice.

• Exhibits an awareness as to how matters of human diversity influence the application of the forces of justice with individuals and groups. (Micro)

• Exhibits an awareness as to how matters of human diversity influences the development and application of social and economic justice in the establishment of law. (macro)

•Exhibits an awareness and concern for matters of social & economic justice.

• Exhibits an awareness as to how matters of human diversity influence the application of the forces of justice with individuals and groups. (Micro)

• oes not demonstrate a consistent awareness or concern for significant issues or threats. •Does not demonstrate any awareness or concern for significant issues or threats. 


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Last Updated:8/14/2006 3:41:48 AM