Understanding Multicultural Diversity in Organizations

Andre Koen



651.998.9376 cell/text




1.                  Course Designation and Identifier


1.1                  AM Horizons Training Group

                  1.2                  Course: Cultural Sensitivity

                  1.3                  Understanding Multicultural Diversity in Organizations

                  1.4                  Three (3) credits/ 4 hours/ Online course will be augmented


2.                  Course Description


This course provides a comprehensive overview of the developmental, social, and cultural contributions of ethnic and minority groups.  Ethnocentrism, acculturation, communication patterns and racial conditioning are discussed.  Emphasis is placed on implications for counseling in a culturally diverse society.


The cultural and clinical examples presented in this course are intended to widen the lens through which students view other ethnic cultures and to provide the student with a series of hypotheses, and accept or discard them according to his or her own experience.


The training consultant connects on a human level with culturally diverse individuals, teams, and organizations, resulting in crucial intervention outcomes.


Methods used in the course of study will include lectures and discussions, viewing cultural specific media, examining cultural patterns, social relationships and guest speakers.  The course is designed to increase the students’ cultural awareness through challenging culturally biased assumptions; knowledge, through presenting factual knowledge and information about a particular method, population or problem; skill development through identifying right actions based on appropriate awareness and accurate knowledge.


3.                  Texts, Materials, and Resources (required and optional)


3.1.               Texts/Course readings:


3.1.1.          Koen, Andre. Diversity Workbook

3.1.2.          Brooks, Keith. A Middle School at a Cultural Crossroads

3.1.3.          Adams, M. Bell, L.A., Griffin, P. Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice


3.2.               Optional texts: None



4.                  Competencies and Learning Outcomes


Students in this course learn:



4.1. Examine the systems of personal, institutional and cultural systems of oppression 12a, 13a, 3a, b


4.2.               Contrast issues of diversity, cultural competence and equity 12b, 2a, b


4.3                 Understanding the impacts of the 1964, 1991 Civil Rights Acts 12f, 7a,b, f


4.4                 Evaluate personal and professional values and ethics as related to working in a multicultural society  12c, 4a, d


4.5                 Create a conceptual cross-cultural framework 12e


4.6                 Demonstrate sensitivity to the unintended consequences of the social and economic processes that may oppress populations at risk 12c


4.7                 Analyze the influence of cultural differences 12b


4.8                 Evaluate competencies in multicultural relations and develop a plan for growth 12f


4.9                 Understand the psychology of working with multicultural groups 12a, 12e, 2c, d, 10a, b, c, f


4.10             Implement appropriate culturally competent strategies and techniques 12c


4.11             Incorporate professional ethics in determining appropriate multicultural interventions 12f, 2e, f, 5a




5.                  Course Outline


5.1.                  Unit 1


-                        Social Group Membership

-                        Social Oppression

-                        Cycle of Oppression

-                        Fabric of Oppression

-                        Anthropological Approach

-                        Examining Personal Bias

-                        Diversity Assessment/DiSC

-                        Understand our socialization in an oppressive culture

-                        Learn definitions and guiding assumption about the fabric of oppression

-                        Increase awareness and understanding of individual, institutional and societal cultural manifestations of oppression

-                        Understand conscious and unconscious impacts of oppression

-                        Explore the concepts of white privilege, collusion, internalized racism, and empowerment as it pertains to the fabric of oppression

-                        Identify ways of taking action against oppressive systems in the personal, institutional, and community lives of participants



5.2.                                 Unit 2



-                        Race- Individual Group Membership

-                        The Color of Fear

-                        Mis-education of the Negro (reading)

-                        White Privilege

-                        EEOC Definitions

-                        Race: Power of an Illusion

-                        Identify and discuss participants’ racial and ethnic heritages

-                        Understand our socialization in a racist culture

-                        Learn definitions and guiding assumptions about race and racism

-                        Increase awareness and understanding of individual, institutional, and societal cultural manifestations of racism

-                        Understand conscious and unconscious racism

-                        Explore the concepts of white privilege, collusion, internalized racism, and empowerment

-                        Understand the experiences of people from different racial heritages.  Explore the costs and benefits of working to end racism

-                        Identify ways of taking action against racism in the personal, institutional, and community lives of participants


5.3.                                    Unit 3             


-                        Heterosexism

-                        Issues in Masculinity

-                        Issues in Femininity

-                        Media: Beyond Beats and Rhymes

-                        Homophobia

-                        East of Eden

-                        GBLT Issues

-                        Building Allies

-                        Explore personal feelings, thoughts, and beliefs about homosexuality, bisexuality and sexual orientation

-                        Raise awareness and understanding of the destructive consequences of heterosexism and homophobia

-                        Understand heterosexual privilege

-                        Understand heterosexism on the individual, institutional, and societal levels

-                        Make connections between heterosexism, sexism, and other forms of oppression

-                        Learn information that contradicts stereotypes about lesbian, gay, and bisexual people

-                        Understand the historical context of present day homophobia and heterosexism

-                        Envision a society in which heterosexism and homophobia do not exist

-                        Identify personal actions to address heterosexism and homophobia




5.4.                                 Unit 4             


-                        Poverty and Class

-                        Horatio Alger

-                        Rules of Class

-                        Net Worth

-                        Land of Immigrants

-                        Money Game

-                        Identify and discuss participants’ class status

-                        Understand our socialization in this socio-economic culture

-                        Learn definitions and guiding assumptions about poverty and wealth

-                        Increase awareness and understanding of individual, institutional and societal, cultural manifestations of classism

-                        Understand conscious and unconscious effects of poverty and wealth

-                        Explore the concepts of white privilege, collusion, internalized oppression, and empowerment as they pertain to economic status

-                        Understand the experiences of people from different economic levels.  Explore the costs and benefits of working to create a more equal distribution of wealth.

-                        Identify ways of taking action against classism in the personal, institutional, and community lives of participants



5.5.                                   Unit 5             


-                        Culture: Personal; Organizational

-                        Culture Clash

-                        Cultural Competence

-                        Cultural Exploration

-                        Diversity Assessment

-                        Cultural Conflict Survey

-                        Organizational Culture

-                        Identify and discuss cultural and ethnic heritages

-                        Understand our socialization into an American culture

-                        Learn definitions and guiding assumptions about culture

-                        Increase awareness and understanding of individual, institutional and societal culture

-                        Understand conscious and unconscious effects of culture

-                        Explore the concepts of white privilege, collusion, internalized racism, and empowerment as it pertains to culture

-                        Understand the experiences of people from different cultural heritages



5.6.                                 Unit 6


-                        Perception of Disabilities

-                        Myths and Stereotypes

-                        Developmental

-                        Illness related

-                        Psychiatric

-                        ADA and the Law

-                        Increase awareness of the existence and manifestations of ableism at all levels

-                        Increase understanding of the experience of being disabled in an oppressive society

-                        Increase knowledge about strategies for interrupting and eliminating ableism

-                        Increase awareness of early personal influences that shape perceptions of disability and disabled people

-                        Increase knowledge of common stereotypes and myths about people with disabilities

-                        Increase knowledge of the historical treatment of persons with disabilities and the origins of ableism



5.7.                                   Unit 7             


Due: Final Special Project


-                        Letter from a Birmingham Jail

-                        Empowering ways and the system of oppression

-                        Caucus groups; Tolerance tool kit

-                        White Guilt

-                        Internalized oppression

-                        Cycle of Liberation

-                        Freedom/Free Dumb

-                        Identify and discuss participants’ ways to empower individuals and groups to work toward equality

-                        Understand ways to change the system to provide better access to goods, jobs, services, and money

-                        Learn definitions and guiding assumptions about liberation

-                        Increase the awareness and understanding of individuals, institutions and society of the impact that changed thoughts about forms of oppression can have

-                        Explore the concepts of white privilege, collusion, internalized racism, and empowerment as they pertain to undoing the harm of oppression

-                        Understand the experiences of people from different racial heritages

-                        Ways to Take Action Against Oppression:  Personal, Institutional, and Community


6.                  Special Project Time (SPT) Not Required for Online


Special Project Time (SPT) allows students the opportunity to integrate course materials. SPT is meant to be a self-contained, 30-hour experience, requiring no more than 30 hours to complete. SPT generally focuses on either (a) an experiential exercise paired with a short, 3-5 page integrative writing component or (b) a research exercise and a short, 3-5 page integrative writing component. 




7.                  Writing Guidelines Including APA Format


All written assignments in courses at the Adler Graduate School must be in APA format unless specifically noted by the course instructor (Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition), 2001, American Psychological Association. ISBN 1-55798-791-2).



8.                  Assessment Plan


8.1     Individuals or groups will present to the class a presentation that will include cultural competence, values, cultural differences.  The project will be worth 30 points.


8.2     Assessment of Student Performance: It is this instructor’s desire that students understand the conceptual framework for creating equity in the workplace. To that end, the lectures, in-class case reviews and individual projects have been designed to promote that understanding.  Students will be assessed largely on the degree of understanding they have about implementing counseling strategies and techniques appropriate for specific cultural groups.


Grading scale:


Class participation 80%:

        Action Plan 20%



9.                  Attendance Policy


Students are expected to attend all class meetings. When a student is unable to attend class, it is a courtesy to notify the course instructor in advance using either email or phone. A student can miss two class units without explanation (i.e., two weeknights, one Saturday). If a student misses more than two out of the nine course units, he or she should meet with the course instructor. Retaking the class is a possibility.



10.                  Participation Disclaimer


Active participation in class discussions/exercises/demonstrations is encouraged. As with other AGS courses, in this course, individual students must determine for themselves the level of disclosure/intimacy that is appropriate for them. 


Whenever confidential information/material is used in any AGS course, students and faculty members are expected to observe AGS policy concerning the handling of confidential information/materials. Full descriptions of these policies are available.



11.                  Academic Integrity Policy


Honesty and trust among students and between students and faculty are essential for a strong, functioning academic community.  Consequently, students are expected to do their own work on all academic assignments, tests, projects, and research/term papers.  Academic dishonesty, whether cheating, plagiarism, or some other form of dishonest conduct may result in failure for the work involved.  Academic dishonesty could also result in failure for the course and, in the event of a second incident of academic dishonesty, suspension from the Adler Graduate School .  Here are examples of academic dishonesty:


            Cheating - Intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise. The term academic exercise includes all forms of work submitted for credit.


            Fabrication - Intentional and unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.



            Facilitating academic dishonesty - Intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to violate a provision of academic integrity.


            Plagiarism - The deliberate adoption or reproduction of ideas or words or statements of another person as one's own without acknowledgment.



12.                  Internet/On-Line Activity


On-line components Adler Graduate School classes provide an opportunity for open and insightful dialogue.  As in face-to-face discussions, there are differences in opinions concerning topics discussed.  We view these differences as welcomed attribute of a good scholarly discussion.  Respect for differences will also be viewed as a sign of scholarly debate.

Following are guidelines governing on-line discussions:

            Never post content that is known to be illegal.  Never post potentially harassing, threatening, or embarrassing statements, as well as statements that that might be potentially offensive and seen as disrespectful in any way.

            Faculty members monitor discussion and intervene when requested or as deemed necessary.

            On-line communication presents a significant level of ambiguity, as verbal content of communication is not well supported by its non-verbal (including contextual) components.  If a student feels threatened or offended by a statement made by another student during on-line portion of a class, please address the issue immediately with the other student(s) to clarify their position and your reaction.  If this does not work, contact your class instructor so actions can be taken if necessary.

            During on-line discussion, follow the same rules concerning protection of confidential information as you would follow in face-to-face discussion.


13.                  Non-discrimination Clause


The Adler Graduate School is an equal opportunity educator and employer.  The Adler Graduate School does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, or physical disability in the employment of faculty or staff, the admission or treatment of students, or in the operation of its educational programs and activities.  The institution is committed to providing equal education and employment opportunities in accordance with all applicable State and federal laws.


14.                  Learning Accommodations (including students with disabilities)


If a student in this course has a documented learning disability, he or she should tell the instructor during the first week of class.  The instructor needs to know on the front end so that he or she can work with the student.  The Adler Graduate School is committed to helping all students be successful, as best as can be reasonably accommodated.  Documenting a learning disability occurs at the student’s expense.  When documented appropriately, the Adler Graduate School makes all reasonable accommodations.


15.                  Instructor Contact Information


Andre Koen

7951 Greenwood Drive

Mounds View, MN 55112