SW325 Human Diversity & Social Justice

for F2J 2009

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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 & Social Justice


F2J 2009 PV


Tucker, Tamara


Adjunct Faculty



Office Hours

Will arrange a mutually convenient time and place to meet.

Other Phone




Semester Dates

October 19, 2009 - December 13, 2009

Class Days


Class Time

5:30 - 9:50 PM

Credit Hours


Rothenberg, Race, Class, and Gender in the United States, 7th edition. ISBN: 0-7167-5515-7

Between Barack and a Hard Place by Tim Wise ISBN-13: 9780872865006

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:
Rothenberg, White Privilege, Essential Readings on the Other Side of Racism, 2nd edition ISBN: 0-7167-8733-4

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman
The Innocent Man by John Grisham
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson & David Oliver
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

*Students may request to read a book not listed here but the book must be approved by the instructor.

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:
SW320 Human Diversity and Social Justice: This course provides a foundation of knowledge for more effective social work practice with a diversity of individuals and groups. It explores the background, worldview 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 SO315 Minority Group Relations be taken prior to SW325. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
At all times I will strive to model the values and skills that are at the heart of the profession of social work. Just as in the helping process, teaching should be a collaborative, mutually enriching experience. I believe that learning is best achieved in an environment that is respectful, safe, affirming, challenging, and highly interactive.
I understand that every person has wisdom in their lived experience and a unique world view and perspective. I recognize that each of us learns in different ways and I will strive to present concepts in a manner that promotes your learning. If you are having difficulty with any aspect of the class I hope that you will make this known to me. I truly want this class to be enjoyable as well as educational.

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:

Your learning in this course will be assessed via the following:

Core Assessment Assignment (paper & presentation)

"Faces of Oppression" guideline/framework will be distributed in class and made available online in doc sharing.

You are expected to maintain and submit eight weekly "e-journal" entries in which you identify instances where you have observed or experienced some manner of prejudice or discrimination.  This can include anything that discriminates against an individual or group of people.  Describe the behavior and make note of your personal thoughts and/or reactions.  You are to identify at least five different incidents each week.  You will be expected to present and discuss these observations in class.

Analytical Book Report 
Six books have been identified as "encouraged" readings.  You are to read (at least) one of those books.  You are then to compose an analytical paper addressing the various types of prejudices and discrimination which impacted the circumstances described in the book.  You will be expected to identify and describe examples of "the five faces of oppression" as they occur in the book.  Similarly, you will identify and analyze the socio-political constructs impacting actions of the people.  Evaluation will consider your skills in writing, clarity, analysis and integration of beliefs, concepts, and information discussed in class and the assigned readings. 
* The paper must be written in APA style and be between 7 and 9 pages in length. 

Class Engagement/Participation
An absolute must in this class.   You are expected to fully engage in all aspects of our classroom learning experience. Points will be lost for tardiness, leaving early and absences. I will use the following additional criteria to assess and allocate points in this area:

  • actively listening to the instructor and classmates
  • answering questions posed by the instructor that relate directly to the assigned reading
  • asking questions and sharing your thoughts, feelings, and potential implications related to material being presented by instructor or as generated through your reading
  • participating genuinely and enthusiastically in classroom activities and exercises
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 opposition to some unjust aspect in society.  This assignment consists of you 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:

1.  What was the issue you were protesting?  This should be something you feel strongly about.
2.  What makes this issue so important to you?
3.  What did you hope to accomplish with your civil disobedience?
4.  Were there other means of protest you did or could have used to get your point across?
5.  Do you have a spiritual or ethical element related to your interest in this issue?
6.  What further action might you plan to take?
7.  Would you ever resort to the use of violence to accomplish your goal?

You need to follow the guidelines and respond to each point noted.  This needs to be typed and in the proper format of a formal letter with address, names and salutations.

Topical Reviews (four)
Each of the four following papers are to be 4-5 pages long, using APA citation style.

*NOTE:  these assignments are not intended to compel you to accept or lie about lifestyles 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.

1.  Class Issues of Wealth and Power Paper 
  • How do you define "class" in America?  Citing from the readings, describe how your definition fits or differs from that of any other author.  Cite and reference at least two other authors, one of which supports your position/perspective and one that does not.
  • 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." 
  • 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. 
  • Briefly discuss how the media portrays images of the wealth and class in America.  Do you feel this is a valid and realistic portrayal?  Please cite specific examples that support your position.  If you use any citations, even from the text, they must be properly cited.
2.  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 own experience and two examples of institutional racism that either you experienced or read about.  
  • 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), how do anti-racists come to recognize their own racism?  Based on all your various readings, what are your suggestions to overcoming racism? 
3.  Sexism
  • 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 image of men and women and how this contributes or distracts from 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 sexism that you have personally experienced or observed. 
4.  Homophobia/Heterosexism 
  • Provide three definitions of homophobia and heterosexism, including your own. 
  • Discuss your perception as to how people become homophobic. 
  • Describe at least one rationalization of justification for homophobia.  Describe a realistic response that may diminish one's rationalization or justification for homophobia. 
  • Based on your own life experiences, what are some of the stereotypes of gays and lesbians?  Describe some means of refuting or diminishing these stereotypes. 
  • How do stereotypes or images of GLBTQ relate to how they are treated? 
  • Describe two examples of the obstacles, other than violence, that confronts GLBTQ in seeking civil equality and justice.  Discuss what you personally can or will do. 

It is very important to me that you understand the criteria for grading and that you perceive this process as fair and reasonable. I do not “give” grades... students earn grades through their work and performance.   

Core Assessment Assignment           20 pts.
Jail Letter                                             5 pts.
Journal                                               10 pts.
Class Issues of Wealth and Power     10 pts.
Racism                                               10 pts.
Sexism                                               10 pts.
Homophobia/Heterosexism               10 pts.
Attendance/Participation                   10 pts.
Analytical Book Review                   15 pts.

Total points possible-                       100

A = 90-100    B = 80-89    C= 70-79    D = 60 – 69   F= below 60     

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the date indicated on the course schedule. In the event of absence you may submit the assignment electronically. The student remains responsible for lost, misdirected or incompatible formatting of electronic submissions. In extenuating circumstances (as determined by the instructor) and with timely notification an exception may or may not be granted. Assignments not submitted on time will receive a deduction of 10% of the possible score, per day. Please be aware that there is no “extra credit” work in this course.

The course exam will only be given on the date specified.  A make-up exam will only be scheduled at the instructor's prerogative under extreme circumstances.  Students or an agent of the student must notify the instructor prior to the exam and must be prepared to submit documentation of the circumstances.  

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
In order to maintain a positive learning environment the following ground rules will be the norm for our interactions. Personal perspectives will be valued. Degrading or discriminatory remarks or behaviors are not acceptable. Discussion will reflect an exchange of information, experiences, ideas, and opinions which foster critical thinking, analysis, and synthesis. If you work in groups, it is the responsibility of the group members to delegate work. All members of the group must present on the project and all will receive the same grade. Because of the sensitivity of the subject matter relevant for consideration in social work, respect, sensitivity, and confidentiality must be maintained. Please turn off your cell phones during class.

Students need to arrive on time. Students will not hold private conversations when a colleague is speaking. Private conversations include those with others within class, on cell phones and any other form of wireless media.  If a student’s behavior is considered to be disruptive, the instructor will give that person the opportunity to modify the behavior without point penalty. If the student’s behavior continues to be disruptive they will lose all class participation points and be referred to the Office of Academic Affairs.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week One - October 19

Welcome / Introductions & Check In
Introduction of "the Faces of Oppression"

Week Two - October 26
Letter from Jail Due

Week Three - November 2
Paper on "Class Issues of Wealth and Power" Due

Week Four - November 9
Paper on "Racism" Due

Week Five - November 16
Paper on "Sexism" Due

Week Six - November 23
Paper on "Homophobia" Due

Week Seven - November 30
Book Analysis Due

Week Eight - December 7
Last Day of Class
Core Assessment Paper Due
Presentation of Core Assessment Paper

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 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

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 "F".
  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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

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 .


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:8/5/2009 11:24:50 AM