Diversity Reflection Paper: Luci Heinz
Both, A Social Worker’s Reflections on Power, Privilege, and Oppression and White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack present well-developed points on the multi-faceted views of oppression and the range of privileges that are experienced in our society. Some of which the “average Joe” would never stop to think twice about – I can say this because I was once part of this ignorant populace, until taking this class. Equally, these articles show the portrayal of how those who are favorably advantaged or have “unearned assets,” are completely oblivious to the immediate power and dominance they attain in our society due to something as simple as the color of someone’s skin or their sex, and how fields of practice, like Social Work, try to “promote social justice and equality of all people in regard to full participation in society.” (Dubois and Miley, p.55)
Michael Spencer opens his publication, A Social Worker’s Reflections on Power, Privilege, and Oppression, with a direct correlation to social work and social justice, defined by the National Association of Social Workers, or the NASW – “The pursuit of social justice is a core social work value; Social workers promote social justice by engaging in activities that promote equality of opportunity, challenge injustice, and advance social change, particularly on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed populations.” (Spencer, p.99) This leads us to one of the repeatedly addressed key points of this article – As people we have to use a “self-reflective” process that looks at all the privileges and oppressions we experience, as well as bring a conscious light to the advantages and disadvantages that certain social groups possess. Spencer, expresses his life journey, identifying himself as a male Native Hawaiian, and how being a member of this group presents him with both oppressions and privileges.
Spencer reminisces to a time, while in college, that he was asked to bring...