Saturday, March 31, 2012
Reflection on Cultural Competency: Identify the major cultural and economic groups in your target community or focal area.
My targeted community, East Utica, major culture groups are divided in race chronologically, such as white, African American or African or Black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American or West Indian, and least Arabs. On the economic groups are based on various categories, such as race and social life such as level of education. For example in, my neighborhood, whites are majority by race and their economic level is affluent, followed by Asian and Arabs, compare to the African American, Hispanic and Native American. In my neighborhood, economic status tends to be better from individual to individual based on the level of education, the more one is educated the better of economically is; in this case, Asians then Africans are better of by ratio.
My targeted community is within Utica City. According to 2000 U.S census, City of Utica demography is as follows: - 60,651 people comprise the general population of Utica NY, 47% are male and 53% are female. The race of ethnic groups in the city of Utica is as follows, 79.4% whites, 12.9% Blacks or African America, 0.3% American Indian and Alaska Natives, 2.2% Asian, 5.8% Hispanic or Latino, 3% two or more races and 2.2 some other races. (http://factfinder.census.gov)
Think about your own cultural history. Identify areas where your own cultural history will be an advantage to you.
Areas of my cultural history that is of an advantage to me are such as my spiritual belief in Christianity. I grew up Christian, all my parents and great grand parents, that I was lucky to see them because they passed at 100+years old, were Christian. Christianity is the way of my life and it will always be. It is the way I comfort, please, and encourage my daily life, even when I feel down or degraded, I use my Christianity values to encourage myself that life is not always about happy days. For example Obama 2006, 2008, African American and or African use the commands of Jesus to “feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned”, that is Christianity. (McKnight 2008, p.852)
My African heritage, religion and culture have got tremendous influence in my personal life and decision making process. I’m told to respect elders, to be honesty, to respect all women as my mother, to pray God all the time because he is a mighty and can see what we do in our dark side, to respect and obey my parents, to love my family and all the people, to obey order and to do not forget where I came from no matter how it looks like in the eyes of outsiders. These values have kept me safe, mostly I’m able to adjust and diversify by tolerating others’ culture as I would like my own to be respected and respect to authorities’ laws and orders. I lived in Europe, Africa and now in America, with all peoples of the world, I find that most of my values are around the line of international customaries.
Identify places where you may be handicapped by your own ethnicity, class, skin color, political views or language.
I’m handicapped on my political views to the western governments/kingdoms treatment to the African countries. For centuries African countries are and they have being used for the benefits of west only without any remorse to the African people. This was or is been done in a physical, political, psychological and in a remote-control ways by westerners or puppet fellow Africans. In results many lives have been lost, poor conditions of living, and lack of basic needs in spite that African products facilitates good and elegant life-style in the west, something that is not fair in return. I’m therefore handicapped on western political machine and wander if west are for substance as they say that they support democracy, against any man-kind oppression, eradicate poverty, fostering good and quality life, and promotion of social justice to the world; or what I see is the old wine in the new bottle?
How will you bridge gaps among different groups?
I have been bridging the gaps among variety of different groups by advocating the values my grand parents and my parents poured on me as I was growing up. One of the key values my 100+ grandparents told me is that “respect all people, young and adults, rich and poor, white and colored, believers and none-believers and judge not anyone because they will use the same measures against me; that to treat others as I would like to be treated”. This statement has become self evidence because it gives me a high level of tolerance toward one another regardless of culture, belief, race, gender, and nationality or socioeconomic status. I do recognize that through tolerance I can live and respect everybody regardless of who they are because to me they are human being first, thereafter I will use Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words by judging them not by their “color of their skin, but by the quality of their character”. (McKnight 2008, p.851)
What (if anything) scares you about working with different groups?
If anything scares me about working with different groups, I expect not to be pleased by every thing or every body. I expect challenges and changes; I therefore accept changes and challenges then move forward. I wont let the past mistakes and incidents to characterize my future rather the future itself. If there is way I can get around of the things that scare me from the different groups, I will do so accordingly, if I cant then I wont make big deal out of it. My motive is that new things at new places can be strange at the beginning, the more one can get exposed to new things the more likely to get familiar with them, so long these things don’t contradict with his/her core values.
What excites you?
What excites me is been around people that are diversified and understand the difference. I love working with people from the grass-roots level, especially people who are needy and my presence can make difference and bring about positive energy, because I do learn a lot from these people. If I can make a difference, then it worth it and I believe that I’m also rewarded for that, although it is not material thing, I’m gracious for that.
What do you wish you knew more about?
I wish if I knew how to get in the minds of people who hate others without any reasons other that race, gender, spiritual belief, nationality, and socioeconomic, and understand the truth and reasons in their minds. Have been said that, I still seeking the understanding and reasoning of their actions at the best of my knowledge as possible.
2. McKnight (2008) Draft copy: Community Organizing: Theory and Practice Chapter Seven "Supports for Community Organizing" Chapter Nine: "The Kaleidoscopic Community" Chapter Ten: "Communities as Social Constructs" and Appedix One: "Participatory Research Processes" (McKnight, Draft copy, P)
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Posted by Valerian B-K. Masao at 11:04 PM