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Dr. Kelly Jackson & Dr. Gina Miranda Samuels

Multiracial Attunement: Shifting Social Work Towards a Culture of Inclusivity

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“In our field and in many helping profession fields we have been very slow in getting outside of single race ways of engaging human experience… and I just think we have been really slow and disconnected in research and the development of our knowledge from the way that many social workers and many of us as people live and the complexity that we live, and so we continue to slice and dice racially in these really grossly inadequate ways of trying to capture peoples racialized experiences.”

Dr. Kelly Jackson &
Dr. Gina Miranda Samuels

In this episode, our guests Dr. Kelly Jackson and Dr. Gina Miranda Samuels discuss the topic of multiracial cultural attunement and deliberate why the issue of multiraciality lacks prominence in social work literature and research. Given the growing multiracial population, the importance of going beyond the black-white dichotomy is emphasized in order to address the disproportionate challenges and risks multiracial individuals and families face. The episode concludes with a discussion on Multiracial Cultural Attunement, a book designed to help social workers apply skills and tools to leverage the strength and resilience of multiracial individuals and families.

Kelly Jackson, MSW, PhD is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work within the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions at Arizona State University. As a social worker and multiracial person, Dr. Jackson is committed to expanding the current knowledge base of multiracial identity through the dissemination of empirical research to help social workers and other helping professionals work more inclusively and responsibly with individuals and families living multiracially. Her research examines the identity development and overall wellbeing of persons of mixed racial heritage.

Gina Miranda Samuels, PhD, MSW is an Associate Professor at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration, and Faculty Affiliate at the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture. She teaches direct social work practice, family systems theory, and applied interpretive research. Her scholarship explores processes of identity, belonging, ambiguous loss, and the effects of chronic displacements from home among those who have experienced foster care, homelessness, and/or transracial adoption.

Interviewer: Josal Diebold, PhD Candidate

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1 comment
  • I enjoyed this discussion. I happen to be a mixed-race member of our society, and the Multiracial Cultural Attunement framework seems a great way to look at this complex cultural concept.

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