Human Services in a Diverse World


As Hu suggests, diversity is not an anomaly in today’s world. Human society is comprised of many different people with various ethnicities, backgrounds, races, beliefs, values, and ideas. Although
this diversity contributes to the beauty of the world, it can also present challenges in some situations. With this in mind, how might diversity impact the helping professions?
This week, as you examine the definition of ethnicity, you consider the influence of ethnicity on human services practices. You also explore challenges human services professionals encounter with
diverse populations and develop strategies to address these challenges.
Discussion: Understanding Ethnicity
People often try to categorize one another based on single factors such as place of origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender, language, tribal affiliation, national boundaries, and personal
philosophy. Today’s world is so diverse and complex, however, that you cannot assign an individual to such a simple category. Instead, diversity and complexity are best expressed through self-
described ethnicity, which may be based on a variety of factors. For this Discussion, reflect on the definition of ethnicity and consider how it might influence your human services practices.
Is there a status quo in your work life that you think could be changed? In this Discussion, you will cultivate some of the important skills needed to challenge the existing state of affairs in
your work life. Start by looking around your current workplace or envision the workplace at an organization with which you are familiar and start thinking, “What if?”
With these thoughts in mind:
1. Post a brief definition of ethnicity, based on your understanding of how ethnicity is presented in the Learning Resources.
2. Then, explain how ethnicity may influence human services practices in your area of interest and why.


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