Tips for Empowerment FINANCIAL TIPS The right choices today by galenbarbour


									Tips for Empowerment
FINANCIAL TIPS                                                   SELF-SUFFICIENCY LIFESKILLS
The right choices today will help you achieve important          Self-employment is definitely an option for greater self-
self-sufficiency milestones later on like purchasing a car,      sufficiency. Starting your own business is do-able and we
renting or buying a home, or getting hired into certain jobs     can help support you along that path. In addition, bartering
or professions. Financial independence is a journey and          with other positive women with children can increase your
good credit makes the journey easier. Develop a reasonable       resilience. Exchanging skills and mutually supporting others
budget and stick to it. Credit cards are a fact of life and      you know who need child care, household chores, meal
they make everything easier — from buying books or               preparations, shopping, respite, etc. Only barter and partner
school supplies for kids to eating out. Using credit responsi-   with others you trust to ensure the safety of your children
bly is how to start building good credit. Stay on track with     and loved ones and who can provide mutual support in
your bills. Pay at least the minimum due on time every           return. Mutually sharing each other’s loads can be very
month. Don’t misuse credit, run up bills and not pay them.       stress relieving and beneficial.
Start building good credit today. To get a copy of your
credit report call or visit the website of any of the three      SELF-CARE TIPS
national credit bureaus.                                         Eating healthy, getting exercise, monitoring physical
                                                                 health, getting sufficient rest and experiencing simple
Equifax Information Service Center                               pleasures in life like laughter, positive interpersonal rela-      1-800-685-1111                              tionships and self-soothing activities like quiet walks, lis-
                                                                 tening to music, reading, writing, etc. are basic founda-
Experian Information Solutions, Inc.
                                                                 tions for good self-care.    1-888-397-3742
Trans Union Corporation                                          SPIRITUAL TIPS        1-800-888-4213                                Prayer, fellowship and meditation are always powerful and
                                                                 effective sources for inner strength, regeneration, clarity,
“Courtesy of Chase Manhattan Bank”                               and human connection to others and one’s higher power.

                                                                                           Change Service Requested

                                                                                             (510) 985-0500
                                                                                             Oakland, CA 94609
                                                                                             4236 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
                                                                                             GOALS for Women
Promoting culturally competent counseling, resilience and socioeconomic empowerment
of Inner City Low-Income African American Women, Youth and Families.
June 2005, Volume 1, Number 1

About Cultural Competence
Respecting the Experiences, Traditions and Resilience
of African American Inner City Communities
By Gwen Wilson, MSW, Executive Director/Clinical Social Worker

W       hen I was a young girl, I’d sit
        in the midst of a neighborhood
Bid Whist game and marvel at the ver-
                                          inner city communities of neighbors
                                          and extended families.
                                              From the perspective of a mental
                                                                                      poverty, racism, classism, and sexism
                                                                                      on our clients’ self-esteem and psy-
                                                                                      chological well-being. It is being able
bal volleyball of wit and rhyme called    health service provider, an under-                                 continued on page 7
“signifying” bouncing from player to      standing of clients’ ethnic back-
player. Everyone there knew it was a      grounds and communication styles                  WHAT’S INSIDE
time and place for laughter and parad-    is an important component to ensur-
ing one’s skill in both the card game     ing the delivery of culturally compe-          Language: What does “Baby
and verbal interplay. My mother was       tent and appropriate care. How else            Daddy” Mean to You?               2
a champion of Bid Whist, a tradition      does one become culturally compe-
                                                                                         Caring for the Children           3
in African American culture for over      tent with inner city African American
100 years, and her verbal ability         clients if they’ve never had a personal        AAWAEI Peer Counseling
always led to a room full of people       experience and opportunity to wit-             Activities: An Evening
                                                                                         with Toni Morrison                4
roaring with laughter.                    ness their unbridled strengths and
    These gatherings were more than       talents via a Bid Whist game? What             African American
just communal past times. Neighbors       is cultural competence for our con-            Commitment Oath                   4
and extended families sharing similar     stituency at GOALS For Women and               GOALS Counseling Services         5
life experiences and struggles came       The African American Family
                                                                                         Community Supporters              5
together to exchange stories in           Counseling Center?
between rounds of the game. For               The skills for working with different      Community Partners:
some, these gatherings saw tensions       cultures must be built by a contextual         A Safe Place Domestic
                                                                                         Violence Services                 6
relieved through language play, par-      understanding and appreciation for
ody and other figurative forms of         the cultural experiences and chal-             Coping Skills                     6
expression that evolved from African      lenges of an ethnic minority group.            The National Association
myths and African American folklore.      In the case of our core constituency           of Social Workers
I know now that observing Bid             of no- and very-low income African             Code of Ethics                    7
Whist games is one way I developed        American women and their children,             Tips for Empowerment:
a sense and appreciation for the          the delivery of culturally competent           Financial, Lifeskills,
verbal traditions and significance        care requires understanding the inter-         Self-Care & Spiritual             8
of gestures among African American        generational, and personal impacts of

2                                                                                                              Urban Solace


What Does “Baby Daddy”
Mean to You?
           anguage barriers are frequently cited as a           or more children. Some were divorced. Others

L          challenge for providing culturally compe-
           tent care. By misinterpreting the expres-
           sions used by a program participant or
           client, a social worker or therapist could
                                                                had never been married. While this expression
                                                                was cast in a positive light in a 2004 Hollywood
                                                                movie about three single African American males
                                                                whose girlfriends became pregnant, causing each
offend a client, miss important verbal cues, or inter-          parent-to-be to take responsibility and embrace
vene inappropriately. If the service provider is not a          fatherhood, for many of the African American
native speaker of a client’s language, interpreting             women surveyed, the term is negative and
his or her needs will be challenging, if not impossi-           describes an absent father who is not a supportive
ble. Similarly, geography and socioeconomics play               partner sharing the responsibility of raising a child.
a significant role in shaping the meaning of words              However, while the term was mostly a negative
and expressions among African Americans.                        one, a couple of respondents found the expression
    GOALS’ staff recently polled, separately, 13                to be neutral or even somewhat positive. One
African American women between the ages of                      thing is clear though. There is a lot of meaning
22 and 55 and of varying socioeconomic back-                    behind what may seem like a casual term.
grounds to find out what the term “Baby Daddy”                      Here are the results, which have been edited
meant to them. Many were single mothers of one                  lightly for clarity and to remove profanity.

What does the term “Baby Daddy” mean to you?
What does it mean to have one?
“A [man] on the run!” “You’re doomed      “I struggled with these two questions       church or the state). It also connotes
for life!” Right now, not good. Your      because the questions are loaded. I         that the union between the child’s
child’s father. Means someone whose       would preface by saying that I don’t        parents no longer exists. “Baby
supposed to help support you. I have      judge, but that would be a lie. Instead,    Daddy,” is used when the mother
bad Baby daddies. I wish I didn’t have    I offer you an opinion and maybe not        doesn’t want to refer to her child’s
one. We’d be better off if they weren’t   popular. In an inner-circle of friends,     father in more unflattering terms.
involved at all and we just did it by     “BD” may be acceptable, but in larger       Personally, I do not like what it con-
ourselves.”                               society, it is not. I guess I’m defensive   notes in Society, which is often a
                                          about that phrase because Society has       young black female (stereotyped), who
               ? ? ?
                                          “us” all figured out and there is more      isn’t married, and not by choice but
“A man that fathers a child, has a        to young black women (and the old           because she isn’t smart enough to
baby with a girlfriend/wife and are       ones) than the negative portrayal that      marry him, but dumb enough to get
no longer together or still together.     we see or hear. Having illegitimate         pregnant, yet borne a child without a
It just simply means that you are not     children is as old as time. To me, it is    name, and then has the state pay for
together with the man (boy) of your       a negative term. Instead of using the       the care. Generally, the father is absent
child (children).”                        word “my husband,” or “my child’s           from the child’s
                                          father” it suggests that the relationship   life on an everyday basis. The mother
               ? ? ?
                                          between the child’s parents is not          acknowledges that the child has a
                                          legally sanctioned under God (the           father, but also insinuates that the
Urban Solace                                                                                                                   3

father has abandoned the family            influence or support to the child,           “Means a man who helped bring a
structure, but more importantly, has       but they take in the way of just being       child in the world but that’s it!”
abandoned his child and the responsi-      called a parent, they take the title and
bilities associated with parenting!”       run with it (I mean literally run, like      “It’s a term used by mostly single
“A baby daddy means a man who              out the door).”                              women who have had babies for
just helps conceive my child but isn’t                                                  men and the men are not taking care
                                                           ? ? ?
around helping to raise my child                                                        of them. It’s a negative term to me.
neither financially nor mentally”          “It is a negative term when you are          Someone could offend some folks
                                           not too fond of who he is or what he         by using the term so it’s not to be
               ? ? ?
                                           is.” “Negative term. It’s specific when I    taken lightly.”
“The term ‘Baby Daddy’ means the           use it because it’s referring to a specif-
                                                                                                       ? ? ?
father of your child to whom you are       ic person. Pretty much, it means you
not married or have a decent relation-     had a baby with someone you aren’t           “It is an ethnic/ghetto colloquialism,
ship with.” “The meaning of having         particularly fond of.”                       slang term for my child’s father. I
one to me is just someone who helps                                                     would not refer to my child’s father
                                                           ? ? ?
keeps a little food and some clothes                                                    as my baby’s daddy, except in jest.
on the baby’s back and possibly what       “It’s just the father of my kids.” “It’s     The term is most often, but not always
is left over, you get your nails done.     not negative right now, it used to be.       used to denote a father that is unin-
It sounds to me like a ghetto term.        It can be a negative depending on how        volved in the rearing or financial
You know, they met at a party or a         people word it or use it. I think it is a    support of their child. In my case it
club and got drunk, started having sex     generic term. It’s very important to have    means to have an ex-husband and
all the time and partying together and     one, because we didn’t have one.”            an ex-boyfriend who were very
she ends up pregnant and he wants                                                       unsupportive during my pregnancy
                                                           ? ? ?
her to “get rid of it” and she doesn’t                                                  and miscarriage.”
want to, so now he is obligated to         “It just means a sperm donor, funny
                                                                                                       ? ? ?
give her money for the baby’s tennis       comical term used with my girls,
shoes and sweat suits and her hair         slang.” “In my case it’s a positive thing    “It’s a totally ghetto way some people
and nails. I know it sounds very judg-     because he is an All American good           use to describe absent fathers. I per-
mental, but every girl that I know that    guy. I just happened to be one of the        sonally hate the term because it takes
uses that term usually acts that way.      lucky ones; he’s a good father. He’s         away from the positive father’s who
Now, the women who just say ‘my            much more than my ‘babies daddy,’            are providing for/parenting their chil-
child’s father’ are more sophisticated     he’s my children’s father.”                  dren. It’s a self-put down word too
and intelligent mentally and act like                                                   because the women who use the term
                                                           ? ? ?
they have some sense. Again, I know                                                     to describe their kids fathers and the
it sounds unintelligent or judgmental      “The term is negative. When I am             fathers are still around in the woman’s
but that is my opinion.”                   speaking of him in a positive way I          life obviously don’t think much about
                                           refer to him by name. Headache and           themselves or the man.”
               ? ? ?
                                           heartbreak. If I ever have another
                                                                                                       ? ? ?
“A biological donor (negative, generic     child, I know that I don’t want a
term)” “Means to have a non-contribut-     “babies daddy,” I want a husband.”
ing parent, they don’t give any positive
                                                           ? ? ?

   Caring for the Children
   Your children need to know they are important to you          dren, and the way they respond in facial expression is very
   and an important part of the family. Children who don’t       important. Closeness is the goal.
   receive care and nurturance end up feeling hopeless and       Remember, positive interactions are important. These
   angry. Parents must be able to regulate their own emo-        positive interactions help them develop a sense of
   tions and feelings in order to teach their children to do     belonging, creativity, and spontaneity—these are impor-
   the same. This regulating lesson is called learning how to    tant competencies.
                                                                 Showing slow gentle care in daily routines like
   Children want and need consistent responses from parents.     hair grooming that ends with a kiss communi-
   A parent’s tone of voice, what they say about their chil-     cates love and helps boost self-esteem.
4                                                                                                                 Urban Solace


    An Evening with Toni Morrison…
    By Michelle Graham, AAWEI Case Manager

    T    oni Morrison is one of the
         world’s greatest writers and
    her public lectures are rare and
                                           described Toni Morrison as “the last
                                           classic American writer, squarely in
                                           the tradition of Poe, Melville, Twain
                                                                                         digest; whatever nugget of wisdom I
                                                                                         could salvage from her discussion, if
                                                                                         nothing more than the warm crackle
    cherished. Her accolades remain        and Faulkner.”                                in her voice. I wanted to make sure I
    unprecedented; to name a few; she         A collaborative effort of various          savored the moment and recognized
    is the winner of the Nobel Prize for   departments within U. C. Davis afford-        what an honor it was to be in the pres-
    Literature in 1993. Her eight major    ed the faculty, students and communi-         ence of such a literary giant and African
    novels – The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song    ty a chance to spend “An Evening with         American woman and elder.
    of Solomon, Tar Baby, Beloved,         Toni Morrison”.                                  Toni Morrison made it her business
    Jazz, Paradise, and Love – have all       Those of us at GOALS who could not         not to disappoint but graciously pre-
    received extensive critical acclaim    secure tickets to the sold out event host-    pared a feast for all who attended,
    while also achieving widespread        ed on campus, at the Mondavi Center           which is indicative of the substance that
    commercial success. A professor        for Performing Arts on November 30th,         makes her so great. I was impressed at
    at Princeton University since 1989,    2004 had the rare and fortunate oppor-        how unselfishly Morrison engaged us
    Morrison has won every major           tunity to take clients participating in our   on every level regardless of our under-
    award in the literary world, includ-   African American Women’s Access &             standing. Morrison classically ushered
    ing the Pulitzer Prize for Beloved;    Empowerment Initiative (AAWA&EI)              us into to the space, time and storyline
    the National Book Critics Award        peer activities to see Mrs. Morrison a bit    of her novel, as though we were never
    for Song of Solomon; the National      earlier at the roundtable discussion on       lost. If nothing else we were bound to
    Humanities Medal; the Library of       her novel, “LOVE”.                            walk away with the rich life lessons she
    Congress Bicentennial Living              I must admit how inadequate I felt         so naturally weaves throughout the fab-
    Legend Award; the National Book        not having been polished for the event;       ric of her existing masterpieces. I thor-
    Foundation Medal for Distinguished     both intellectually and culturally. I         oughly enjoyed myself and came away
    Contribution to American Letters;      feared I could be slightly cheated of the     feeling like I had grown a little more
    and the Distinguished Writer Award     experience because I had not yet read         that day, Clients who attended shared
    from the American Academy of           this novel. Nevertheless, I made it my        similar feelings of empowerment from
    Arts and Letters. Newsweek has         objective to feast on anything I could        the experience.

                          African American Commitment Oath
        With honor, gratitude, humbleness and love, we take this oath of loyalty, dedication,
        discipline, sacrifice and achievement to do all that we can in the way that we can to
         develop and love ourselves and our people. We accept the role given to us by our
          ancestors. We promise not only to help ourselves and our people but to help all
         humanity. We recognize family as the greatest example of our community and our
           nation and appreciate our ancestors as teachers and healers. We pledge to keep
              this oath of commitment for as long as the sun shines and the rivers flow.
                                                    Ashé, ashé, ashé!
Urban Solace                                                                                                                     5

G.O.A.L.S. For Women Counseling Services
African American Women’s Empowerment Initiative
African American Family Counseling Center
Therapeutic and Peer Counseling                                Kitchen Table Group Counseling
Face-to-face, telephone and family counseling plus             Support groups, counseling and peer activities for stress man-
on-going, easily accessible intensive mentoring and coach-     agement, social and coping skills-building, symptom reduc-
ing by African American and other women role models.           tion and management, and interpersonal communication.
Case Management/Peer Empowerment                               It Takes A Village (ITAV) Consciousness-Raising
Activities/Mentoring and Coaching                              and Empowerment Mini-Workshop
Referrals and linkages to community supports, life-skills      Quarterly workshops to promote community bonding and
building to help clients successfully navigate the community   education. Workshops allow participants to experience
environment, through mentoring, coaching and peer              shared cultural and communal traditions and values.
empowerment activities.

Thanks Community for Your Support                                                      Urban Solace is published by
                                                                                       G.O.A.L.S for Women & The African
Alameda County Board of     Michelle Brewer            Sonya Tafoya                    American Family Counseling Center
   Supervisors              Carolyn Sante              Treina Fabré
Alameda County Behavioral                                                              Executive Director/Editor/
                            Chantae Rochester          Erica Sanker                    Clinical Social Worker
   Health Care Services     Mrs. Talibah               Roderick Fabré                  Gwen Wilson, MSW
Alameda County              Mecca Nelson               Ora Dagley                      Consulting Clinical Supervisor
   Social Services                                                                     Luna Calderon, LCSW
                            Debra Goode                Leslie McKinney
The Bay Area Black
                            Francies Berry             Keiko Reems                     Consulting Clinical Supervisor
   United Fund                                                                         Dakari Wickling, LCSW
The California Endowment    Carolyn Long               Hilary and Tony Jackson
                                                       Nancy Lee                       Clinical Counselor
The California Wellness     Peggy Presley
                                                                                       Valda Donvener, MFTI
   Foundation               Sandra Washington          Christine Sculatti
The San Francisco           Paula White                Michael Dodsworth               Constance Oliver, MFTI
   Foundation               Crystal Edmond             Edna Cabcabin Moran             Accountant
The Alameda County          Samia Magbie               Mahal Torres                    Nancy Lee
   Tobacco Coalition        Janet Moody                Robin Raveneaux                 Certified Public Accountant
CSAT Team                   Jocelyn Guite              Parental Stress Services        Ravi Mohan
California Chamber of       Isha Askar                 friends:                        Consulting Operations Manager
   Commerce                                                Karen                       Robin Ferguson
                            Cynthia Perkins                Shay
Kaiser Permanente                                                                      Contributing Writers
                            Dorothy Williams               Moana
Costco                                                                                 Gwen Wilson, MSW
                            Linda Dails                    Cheryl                      Christine Sculati
Longs Drugs                                                Lorraine
                            Ms. Woode                                                  Michelle Graham, AAWEI Case Manager
Michaels Arts and Crafts                                   James                       Luna Calderon, LCSW
                            Bola Cofield
Staples Office Supplies                                Shawn Taylor                    Graphic Designer
                            Iris Corrina
McKesson Water Company                                 Janet Stickmon                  Jeanette Madden
                            Woody Carter
Half-Priced Books                                      Mario Miller (Maat)             Printer
                            Melanie Tervalon                                           Hunza Graphics
California Black Women’s                               Rajah Akbar
   Health Project           Sandra Carr                                                Programmer/Grant Writer
                                                       Alice Davis
Liberty Hill Foundation     Colette Winlock                                            Christine Sculati
                                                       Terry Giovanni
Lugo Hardware               Patricia Rambo                                             Web Master
                                                       Lara Bice                       Mike Dodsworth
ATA Services                Tisha Kenny
                                                       Maggie McCawley                 Board of Directors
Hollywood Bed and Spring    Sherry Wilson
                                                       Pilar Gonzales                  Margo McDaniel, President
   Mft. Co                  Barbara Burrell
                                                       Soroptomist International       Maryetta Knox, Treasurer
A Safe Place                Luna Calderon                  of Oakland                  Gwen Wilson, Secretary
Moskatels                   Stacey Lynch                                               Sonya Tafoya
                                                       Kenya Silver
L.A. Shares                 Jann Murray Garcia         DeLeon Hill                     G.O.A.LS. (Greater Options & Assistance
Angel Kyodo Williams        Margo McDaniel                 Hills Brothers              for Lifelong Success!)
Dorinda Wiseman             Mary E. Knox                   Construction
6                                                                                                                  Urban Solace

                                       COMMUNITY PARTNERS

    A Safe Place Domestic Violence
    Program and Services
    A Safe Place Domestic Violence program has a powerful and effective history in our community. Led by
    Executive Director Carolyn Russell, MSW, who has been with the agency for over 20 years, A Safe Place
    offers a 24-Hour Crisis Line — (510) 536-SAFE (7233) — and the following to our community.

    EMERGENCY SHELTER                                               provide women the opportunity to connect with other
    Emergency shelter for battered women and their children         women who have experienced relationship abuse.
    is provided via a residential shelter and motel program.        Facilitated by a trained domestic violence counselor,
    Support services include case management, professional          their support groups are free of charge and focus on
    counseling, legal, court, and social service advocacy,          domestic violence.
    included CALWORKS services. Basic necessities include
                                                                    LATIN PROGRAM
    meals, clothing, toiletries, and referrals for assistance
                                                                    A Safe Place maintains staffing to provide services for
    with emergency medical needs.
                                                                    Spanish speaking battered women via their 24-hour crisis
    CHILDREN’S PROGRAM                                              line and shelter program.
    A number of activities are provided for the children in
                                                                    COMMUNITY EDUCATION & OUTREACH
    residence at the shelter that parallel the intervention their
    mother receives. The services focus on creating a safe
                                                                    A Safe Place offers training for both male and female
    environment to process feelings, and includes counsel-
                                                                    professionals. In an effort to prevent domestic violence
    ing, play therapy, and other therapeutic support services.
                                                                    through education, we teach the community about issues
    COMMUNITY COUNSELING                                            surrounding relationship abuse through workshops, train-
    510-986-8600                                                    ing sessions, and presentations. They offer training for
    A Safe Place offers community counseling for battered           both male and female professionals who may interact with
    women and children in need of assessments and infor-            survivors of violence at public and private agencies. Our
    mation about domestic violence. Their counselors offer          goal is to reach the entire community through education.
    education about abuse, referrals to area resources, and
                                                                    TEEN VIOLENCE PREVENTION PROGRAM
    a chance to explore options and goals. All counseling
    services are free of charge.
                                                                    A Safe Place provides Dating Violence and Sexual
    SUPPORT GROUPS                                                  Harassment workshops to middle and high schools, as
    510-986-8600                                                    well as agencies serving young people. The workshops
    Support groups are offered for both shelter clients and         alert teens to the dynamics of abusive relationships, and
    via the community counseling program. These groups              empower them to make healthy relationship choices.

           For more information about any services or programs, please contact them at (510) 986-8600.

Coping Skills
I  n general, coping involves creating       I   Learning effective communication        I   Maintaining employment and a
   a supportive and nurturing environ-           skills                                      meaningful day-to-day routine
ment for oneself, developing skills for      I   Learning problem-solving skills         I   Participating in recovery/support
interacting effectively with people, and     I   Developing a good support system            groups (for substance use and
maintaining a stable living and work-        I   Learning to take responsibility for         mental health problems)
ing situation. Good coping mecha-                one’s actions and well-being            I   Practicing relaxation skills and
nisms include:                                                                               enjoying life.
Urban Solace                                                                                                                   7

Cultural Competence continued from page 1
to provide the necessary care that will     and supports like kitchen table talks,      assertiveness, self-respect, self-love
foster healing, self-sufficiency, healthy   It Takes A Village workshops, flexibili-    and self-care – attributes they will
parenting and happiness.                    ty in individual counseling session         eventually extend to their children
    GOALS For Women and The African         lengths, and easy accessibility to coun-    and the greater community. And, to
American Family Counseling Center           selors for telephone booster sessions,      maintain this place of empowerment,
is one of the first mental health pro-      mentoring and coaching, and an array        we will continue to initiate and advo-
grams in Alameda County specifically        of peer empowerment activities. Our         cate for policies directed at helping
focused on the mental health needs          providers and peer counselors extend        improve their life circumstances, espe-
of no- and very-low income African          a heartfelt welcome to a client and her     cially given the economic decline of
American women and their families.          children/family and guarantee support.      their communities.
We are an agency founded on the             Our experienced, compassionate and              When we think of cultural compe-
principles of cultural competence           talented African American and other         tence at GOALS, we think of the
and our strategies for intervention         clinicians join together to employ a        ability to understand, appreciate and
and healing are rooted in our knowl-        mix of culturally sensitive and appro-      establish trust with clients who enter
edge of African American history, folk-     priate interventions blended with           our program. We recognize and vali-
lore, collectivism and spirituality as      African traditions and teachings.           date those who try to be the absolute
important coping mechanisms. While          The clients’ strengths are celebrated,      best people and parents possible given
we take into account the impacts of         weaknesses diminished, and everyone         the often traumatic circumstances of
racism and oppression on the psycho-        knows they’re in the right place for        their lives and current emotional health
logical and economic well-being of          providing and receiving truly culturally    challenges. We work thoroughly to
African American families, we also          competent care.                             determine the barriers keeping them
embrace cultural traditions and tales          GOALS For Women’s African                from functioning effectively so we can
of survival of the ancestors as key         American Family Counseling Center           provide the treatment (and/or access to
sources of empowerment.                     is a place where women and families         it) and supports they need to function
    Women who participate in our            are encouraged to think about the           well and achieve life long success.
programs in Oakland proclaim their          direction of their lives; particularly in       When I think about cultural com-
appreciation and pride of the Afrocen-      terms of their own values and moral         petence on a personal level, I am
tric values and strengths, humanity,        reasoning. Clients are nurtured and         reminded about the importance of
dignity and history as descendants of       ultimately empowered to appreciate          respecting the experiences, traditions
African American people. Just like the      themselves and others in their family       and resilience of African American
banter that dances between players of       and community. They are supported           inner city people and communities. Just
a Bid Whist game, so does the hope,         to develop the capacities they need to      like those master players of bid whist I
trust and spirit of a GOALS client who      escape poverty and oppression. From         used to witness as a child, clients also
experiences the safety and serenity of      this place of empowerment, we know          have strengths, experiences, traditions
our therapeutic milieu, interventions       they will begin to practice self-           and resilience that needs to be respect-
                                                                                        ed and tapped into. My hope is that
                                                                                        while we’re helping to improve their
                                                                                        emotional health and develop self-suffi-
   The National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics                            ciency capacities, we’ll also be success-
   The National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics sets ethical               ful in helping them understand who
   standards for the professional activities of social workers, defining cultur-        they are as a people. Their journey in
   al competence as an understanding of “culture and its function in                    life didn’t just begin under their one
   human behavior and society, recognizing the strengths that exist in all              roof alone – it began in a collective
                                                                                        experience as African Americans. That
   cultures.” To be competent, “social workers should have a knowledge
                                                                                        experience includes social wounding as
   base of their clients’ cultures and be able to demonstrate competence in
                                                                                        a disenfranchised group of Americans.
   the provision of services that are sensitive to clients’ cultures and to dif-
                                                                                        Social wounds require social healing.
   ferences among people and cultural groups. Social workers should
                                                                                        And we let our clients know they have
   obtain education about and seek to understand the nature of social                   a whole lot of allies working to pro-
   diversity and oppression with respect to race, ethnicity, national                   vide the context and supports to
   origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, political               ensure that social healing can
   belief, religion, and mental or physical disability.”                                take place – starting with access
                                                                                        to culturally competent care.

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