Beyond Introduction: The Need for Competency in Diversity Training

By Lathardus Goggins II and Elisabeth Dowcett.

Published by The Diversity Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The literature has long called for changes to the preparation of human services professionals, particularly in the fields of education and social work, in order to better equip graduates to work in an increasingly diverse environment.
Since the mid-90’s many professional licensing/accreditation organizations have required professional preparation programs to address diversity in their curriculum. The research still suggests that new teachers and social workers are woefully underprepared to effectively provide meaningful services to black and brown communities.
Many colleges have acknowledged the necessity to better educate graduates to be culturally competent practitioners. Subsequently, many departments have developed diversity courses. However, these courses are often designed to introduce awareness and tolerance by surveying the various aspects of human diversity. These introductory courses rarely have the time or intent to delve into the complexities of a specific population’s lived experience. Moreover, introductory courses seldom examine how systems of power and privilege impact public policy and professional practice towards a particular population.
In this presentation, participants will discuss the development and impact Effective Interactions with African American Males, a course designed to engage social work and education students in a critical examination of the social and emotional effects of racism on the academic, occupational, cultural and relational well-being of African-American males. The goal of the course is to better equip students with the fundamental knowledge and authentic experiences that build competent practice. We believe this may serve as a model for developing other core competencies in diversity.

Keywords: Teacher Preparation/Training, Social Worker Preparation/Training, Education, Curriculum, Core Competencies

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp.67-74. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 889.212KB).

Dr. Lathardus Goggins II

Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership Watson School of Education, School of Social Work, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, NC, USA

Dr. Lathardus Goggins II has been an advocate for youth and education for more than twenty years, and is the author of BRINGING THE LIGHT INTO A NEW DAY and AFRICAN CENTERED RITES OF PASSAGE AND EDUCATION. Dr. Goggins earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography and his Doctor of Education in Educational Foundations and Leadership from The University of Akron. He earned his Masters of Education in Cultural Foundations from Kent State University. Dr. Goggins has worked with “at-risk” youth as a Prevention Specialist and has worked more than 17 years in Higher Education Administration. Currently, Dr. Goggins is an Assistant Professor jointly appointed to the department of Educational Leadership and School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Additionally, Dr. Goggins is the primary investigator of the “I knew I was a man when…”, a first person research project seeking to record and analyze first person narratives of African-American men reflecting upon their transition into manhood.

Elisabeth Dowcett

Teacher, Durham Public Schools, Durham, NC, USA

Elisabeth Dowcett is a Nationally Board Certified middle grades language arts and social studies teacher in Durham, North Carolina. She is also a graduate student at the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Watson School of Education where she is pursuing her M.Ed. in Curriculum, Instruction, and Supervision. Ms. Dowcett has a B.A. in Middle Grades Education from UNCW. Her research interests include teacher effectiveness, closing the achievement gap and instructional methods for poor and minority students. She is a former member of the New Hanover County Schools Strategic Planning Committee and the founder of the CHOICES after school program for African American males. She is currently writing her Master’s Thesis: What African American Males Want Their Teachers to Know?


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