Apply Concepts From Practice Exercise

P‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‌‌‌‍‌‍‍‍‍‌‍‌‌lease read the following information and answer the following question. How would you apply the concept you chose from the Practice Exercise to a family, group, or community meeting? Decolonizing Whole Communities Beyond the mezzo level, social workers can work at the macro level to collaborate with colonized communities in designing and implementing actions, programs, and institutions that are sensitive to the effects of colonization and the protective factors that have prevented complete annihilation. Here are some principles to follow so that we can avoid the mistakes that come from a colonizing mentality. 10 Steps to Macro Practice with Colonized Communities (1) Locate yourself: Talk about where you come from, who your family is, and what your intentions are. Describe your methods as grounded in the ideas of colonization and decolonization. Approach with humility: you are a student, a partner who wants to use the advantages and linkages to resources that you have as an outsider to support the community’s own goals. (2) Understand the power ecosystem: Learn about who makes decisions in the community, who the stakeholders are, what protocols must be followed to make contact and establish rapport, and what is the history of previous external helpers. Learn how your outsider status (if you are one), gender and other characteristics circumscribe the roles available to you. (3) Elicit stories: Lessons about colonization, intergenerational trauma, decolonization, and traditional healing are embedded in stories. Be respectful of the boundaries of what information can be shared. Do not try to reinterpret the stories from your own perspective. Listen for metaphors and important words that signify local ways of knowing. (4) Locate the problem: Find out who in the community is suffering and in what ways. What other problems are connected? How are others affected by the suffering of members of the community? What beliefs are used to explain the problem and the solutions that are available? Are there different, competing explanations? If possible, compare the colonizers’ explanations with local explanations. (5) Help to self-deconstruct colonized mindsets: When you notice that communities are engaging in self-blame, scapegoating or mutual blame for problems that originate outside of the community, use Socratic questions to expose these connections. Asking about when a problem began and how the community has responded helps to locate the problem in its historical context and empower communities to begin to reclaim their own narratives. (6) Find out what is missing: Ask what would be needed to solve a problem. Do not assume that what is needed is what you have to offer. Do not assume that you have a better way of solving a problem. Do not even assume that solving the problem is desirable – there may be unintended consequences. What solutions has the community tried before, and what were the results? What would a small improvement look like? What aspects of local ways of knowing and acting could be reclaimed? (7) Explore possibilities: Without offering solutions of your own, ask the leaders and stakeholders to imagine the outcomes of different pathways. Use the knowledge you have gathered about the power ecosystem, colonization, and local ways of understanding and solving problems. Focus your questions on the suffering that has been identified. (8) Reach agreement: As you listen to the community tell you what can work and what can’t work, you will begin to form a cultural map of the problem, and a consensus can be reached about action steps and the resources needed to take them. If there is no way forward, be patient and recognize that’s okay, sometimes better, to leave the conversation incomplete and in a state of disequilibrium. (9) Follow through: Colonized communities have been let down by ma‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‌‌‌‍‌‍‍‍‍‌‍‌‌ny unkept promises. Do not overpromise, and do not take on all responsibility for change. Know that trust is built slowly, and you may be tested many times before any community member is willing to take a risk. Building relationships if often the most important step in the process. Change may appear to be stalled when it is gathering momentum. (10) Evaluate and adapt: Include the community in evaluating your collaborative efforts to solve problems. Efforts are rarely a complete success or a complete failure. Asking good questions and acknowledging your fallibility will help the community to avoid falling into a blame trap or victim stance, and instead treat the problem as a worthy challenge that may take years or generations to meet. Practice Exercise We end this exploration of decolonization at mezzo and macro levels with a thought experiment. For each of the Hawaiian terms below, think of how you would use the concept in working with Native Hawaiians in one of the following mezzo settings: elementary, middle, or high school; worksite, prison, recovery program, integrated health/mental health clinic. You may change the settings as you go from one concept to the next. When you have completed this exercise, choose the concept you found the most helpful and discuss how you applied it in Graded Discussion 1. Native Hawaiian Conceptual Vocabulary (Marshall, 2011) Akua God, specifically in reference to gods who comprised Hawaiian cosmogony prior to Western contact Ho’oponopono Family conflict resolution, form of therapy used in cultural-based treatment settings Kahuna Ritual experts and practitioners whose training was rigorous and demanded superior intellect Ka po‘e kahiko People of old, ancestors of Native Hawaiians, Native Hawaiians who lived before contact with the West Kalo Taro, considered a staple food in traditional diets and a gift from the gods Kipuka Opening or hole; metaphorically: to describe those spaces within neocolonial society in which Native Hawaiian culture has survived, and as an analogy for how such traditional culture can be revitalized elsewhere Lokahi Practice of spiritual, cultural, and natural balance with the elemental forces of nature, “unity, accord, unison” Malama ‘aina To care for the land, a reciprocal intimate relationship between humans and the land, where humans serve one another and care for the land, a concept that is a critical distinction between the worldview of Hawaiians and those who came to colonize the islands Mana A relationship productive of a healthy society Pono Necessity, goodness, morality and perfect order, a central metaphor for ka po‘e kahiko; (social) harmony that derives from reciprocal relationship ‘Uhane Soul, spirit Wahi kapu- Places and spaces of refuge, sanctuary, and healing References: Byrdsong, T. R., Mitchell, A. B., & Yamatani, H. (2013). Afrocentric intervention paradigm: An overview of successful application by a grassroots organization. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 23, 931-937. Gilgun, J. F. (2002). Completing the circle: American Indian medicine wheels and the promotion of resilience of children and youth in care. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 6(2), 65-84. Karenga, M. (2008). Nguzo Saba. The official Kwanzaa web site. Retrieved January 12, 2020, from (Links to an external site.) Sachs, S., & Morris, B. (2011). Re-creating the circle: The renewal of American Indian self-determination. University of New Mexico Press. Absolon, K. (2010). Indigenous wholistic theory: A knowledge set for practice. First Peoples Child & Family Review, 5(2), 74-87 Marshall, W. E. (2011). Potent mana: Lessons in healing and power. State University of New York Press. Chapter 6: Dreaming Change Please use Permalin‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‌‌‌‍‌‍‍‍‍‌‍‌‌k for all citations used.