Bias and tolerance

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Assignment Instructions
BIAS AND TOLERANCE

Understanding and teaching tolerance can help prevent anger and grief from
escalating into bias and stereotyping in the classroom and elsewhere in society.
For example, the historical events of 9/11 led to widespread anger and grief, and
in many quarters resulted in bias or unfair judgments toward Muslims and people
of Middle Eastern heritage. More recent events have resulted in similar biases.
When there is an awareness of one’s own predispositions, which illuminate some
form of prejudice, whether in favor or not in favor of someone or something, that
awareness can be a compass that helps to direct anger and grief into more
productive outlets. Appropriate resources related to biases and tolerance may
support additional consciousness when working with affected communities.

Scenario
An Arab American family entered a human services office seeking services,
including food, housing, and counseling for their family. After completing the
necessary paperwork, the Arab American father explained to the intake worker
that the family has encountered biases in the United States, and because of this
treatment they were anxious about coming to the office to obtain assistance for
the family.

While waiting to be assisted by the assigned human services case worker, the
family noticed the majority of the other families waiting to be assisted for various
services moved to sit on the other side of the waiting room. As awkward as this
felt for the Arab American family, they sat and waited to be assisted.

After a few minutes of waiting, a passerby said to the Arab American family, “Why
are you here? We don’t want any trouble. We are all here needing help, trying not
to die.” Seconds later, a Muslim American case worker greeted the Arab
American family and apologized for the passerby’s behavior. She escorted them
to her office to further assist them with the human service resources they were
seeking. A different European American case worker greeted the passerby and
escorted him to another room to address his adverse behavior towards the Arab
American family.

Instructions
As you consider this scenario, write a 3–4 page paper that responds to the
following:

● Explain how it was biased for the passerby to assume the Arab American
family was dangerous.

● What can be done to educate the passerby, so they understand how their
assumptions were biased and to improve/enhance their tolerance.

● Evaluate your own cultural beliefs and theories and attitudes about
immigrants of color coming from non-European countries. What are some
attitudes you’ve heard or believe as an American? Describe what you
would do to ensure those beliefs do not interfere with your professional
obligation to assist these clients?

● Cite and describe at least three scholarly peer-reviewed journal articles
that can be used to understand and teach tolerance, and if possible,
provide a link to each one.

○ Evaluate each article that focuses on cultural competence and
explain how it could be incorporated into a plan of action for building
tolerance in clients who exhibit bias towards others in a human
services setting.

○ Explain why each article would be an effective part of your plan of
action.

● How might concern/fear about facing these biases affect this Arab
American family seeking services? Provide specific examples of how this
affects client functioning and clinical presentation.

● How do “religion and culture,” come into play in incidents like this one?
And why would they be related to client functioning and clinical
presentation?

● Propose a plan of action to deal with your own preconceptions about Arab
and Muslim Americans and to ensure you respond appropriately as a
human services professional.

Assignment Requirements
● Length: 3–4 pages in addition to the cover page and reference page.
● Contents: Include a cover page, page numbers, and a running head.
● Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12-point, and double-spaced.
● References: Cite at least three references from peer-reviewed journals

published within the last 5–7 years, in addition to your textbook.
● APA: Use current APA style and formatting for the entire paper and for

citations and references. Evidence and APA can help with that.

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