Episode 281 - Dr. Kelly Jackson and Dr. Gina Miranda Samuels: Multiracial Attunement: Shifting Social Work Towards a Culture of Inclusivity
Tuesday, February 25, 2020, 8:43:09 AM
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.
cultural attunement, Thursday, February 18, 2021
By Gloria J :
I really liked this podcast, it really hit home for me in so many ways. The first way it hit home for me is that, in my previous marriage, people assumed that my husband and I shared the same racial identity. Oftentimes, it was humorous to me because I felt that people would make a fool of themselves after I told them that my husband was white. Their faces would be full of surprise, since I don’t exclusively date within my own race. I have to be open to the idea of having mix-race children and the issues that the potential child may face. I could only assume that those potential issues would be exacerbated at each developmental stage of the child. Supporting the child as they face difficulties with identity and racism is vital in order for that child to have a positive sense of self, as they would belong to two cultures. I like how the podcast differs between Cultural Competence and Cultural Attunement. This gives the understanding that the worker is forever learning and not the expert of that specific culture. I felt that the analogy that Gina used to describe Cultural Attunement was spot on and I love it. I look forward to reading more about the four phases of their practice model.
review, Monday, February 15, 2021
By Liz Halvachs :
The idea of cultural attunement and shifting your understanding when you are around people of different backgrounds and trying to listen and learn rather than trying to act like you understand is really important. I agree that the idea of being competent doesn't seem quite right, we can never completely understand a culture. As is discussed it is also important to move past considering people that are multi-racial as being white and another race, when it is so much more complicated than that. The strengths of multiracial people being discussed is important as well, I appreciate that this is brought up, however it is brought up that these strengths aren't necessary able to be taken advantage of if someone is the only one that is multiracial. I agree that it is concerning that social workers don't pay more attention to people that are multifractal's experiences. This podcast is very helpful in educating that these are issues that people that are multiracial are facing and that these are things that social workers need to be more aware of and focus on.
increasing awareness of the complexity of multiraciality, Sunday, February 14, 2021
By Hannah B :
In this podcast episode, Dr. Kelly Jackson and Dr. Gina Miranda Samuels discuss multiraciality as a distinct racial experience that deserves more attention in the social work field. This topic is important because multiracial people are a growing population, and social workers are very likely to encounter multiracial individuals and families in practice. Thus, it is crucial for social workers to understand the specific ways in which multiracial people are oppressed in our society. In this episode, the authors define and discuss concepts including mono-racism, mono-centricity, and multiracial cultural attunement. Mono-racism is defined as a specific type of racism against multiracial people for not being racially “pure” enough, which stems from mono-centricity, or the idea that it is a good thing to be one race, an idea ultimately stemming from white supremacy and anti-blackness. The interviewees argue that social work must move past the black/white dichotomy in order to understand multiraciality as a very complex, layered, and intersectional experience. They also discuss their intentional desire to move away from the language of achieving cultural “competence” in social work education. Instead, they favor cultural “attunement,” an ongoing process of listening, learning, and making constant micro adjustments. As a social work student, this language shift is helpful because expectations to be “competent” of all cultures is a lot of pressure, but the intention to engage in meaningful relationships and open discussions to learn about different cultures is much more in line with ‘the client as the expert on their own life.’ Ultimately, this episode was very interesting and nuanced in its discussion of the complexity of different racial experiences, and the ways in which social workers can work more inclusively with the growing number of multiracial individuals and families.
DISCLAIMER: The content shared by the presenter(s) and/or interviewer(s) of each podcast is their own and not necessarily representative of any views, research, or practice from the UB School of Social Work or the inSocialWork® podcast series.