Intro, Bias Test, Ethics, Conclusion

Introduction This portfolio consists of materials that I worked on throughout the Fall 2019 semester. The content includes assignments from class as well as reflections and updates about the internship I completed. The following paragraphs provide descriptions of contents inside each section of the portfolio.
Assignment #1 The first part of the portfolio includes four internship timesheets. I completed my internship at Erie Neighborhood House in Little Village in Chicago. I interned at Erie throughout the Fall semester for a total of 184 hours. I was there on Mondays and Wednesdays. Assignment #2 My supervisor evaluation is found immediately after the timesheets. My supervisor provided a detailed description of the work that I was involved with during the fall which included my responsibilities, areas of growth and achievement, and a recommendation for future employment. Assignment #3 My responses to the eight assigned readings and Ted-talk videos are in the next section of the portfolio. These responses include a variety of topics such as preferred work environment and skills for leadership development. I also wrote about my personal thoughts about the topics. Assignment #4 Next is the class discussion of conflict, social justice, and ethics that I witnessed at Erie Neighborhood House. I was able to analyze how these issues play out in real life. I documented my experience with these issues and shared them with the class. Assignment #5 The following assignment in the portfolio is the Harvard Implicit Bias Test. I took the Skin Tone Test that consisted of 13 parts. I described my results and my experience taking this test in the portfolio.
Assignment #6 I responded to the "Understanding and Interacting with Human Behavior" article. This reading helped me see the differences between nature and nurture. Internship Experience Essay I described the challenges and learning opportunities that I experienced at Erie Neighborhood House in the Internship Experience Essay. Economic Justice Essay I wanted to highlight economic justice within the undocumented immigrant community. I felt passionate about this topic, because it was something that I learned more about while I was at Erie Neighborhood House. Conclusion The portfolio ends with a conclusion that wraps up my overall experience and how the lessons learned influenced my future goals.
Conflict, Social Justice, and Ethics Event 1 I experienced events during my time at Erie that had conflict, a social justice component, and ethics. I was responsible for facilitating an English as a Second Language (ESL) class every Monday and Wednesday. I noticed right away that there was a long waiting list to get into this program. I found out that there were 90 other students on a waitlist. This meant that there was a limited distribution of resources available to community members. There were a limited number of ESL teachers and available space for ESL class. The social justice side to this conflict is that all community members should have be able to access programs that could benefit them. The ethics of this issue show that with limited resources, the students who are on the waitlist can eventually be unmotivated to learn. It is not ethical for the agency to deny community members services that they want to be part of. A possible solution for this problem would be to increase the number of ESL teachers and partnering with another agency that has classroom space for an ESL program. This could work because a partnership could solve spaces issues, and people would trust going to a different location if it's affiliated to Erie.
Event 2 Another conflict that I encountered happened during one of the literacy programs that I helped with. I tutored a fourth grader with symptoms of ADHD. I observed that he was constantly moving, had little patience, and yelled during our sessions. From a social justice perspective, there should be more specialized care and resources for students with learning disabilities. I think it was an ethical dilemma that the agency was not able to provide this student with the tools he needed to reach his fullest potential. I think a solution to this issue could be to have volunteers or teachers who specialize in working with students with learning disabilities. I think this would be fair to students and their parents, because it would show that the agency is making an effort to meet the needs of its clients.
Event 3 I was at my internship while the Chicago Public School teacher strike was happening. This was a conflict, because missing class could affect how well Chicago students perform in the state achievement tests. The population that Erie serves is majority low income, and Erie reports that students need additional supports to meet state standards. Increasing social justice with this issue would mean that all students receive enough time to learn material that they will be tested on. A potential ethical dilemma could be that test scores are low, and donors decide not to fund Erie learning programs. A solution to this problem would be to increase the number of days that learning and tutoring programs are available. Adding one day a week to the programs could balance out the missed days.
Implicit Bias Test, Skin Tone I took the Implicit Bias Test for Skin Tone. My results suggested that I had no automatic preference between dark skinned people and light skinned people. I told myself that I was going to answer all the questions truthfully in order to get the most accurate results. I thought the test was going to consist of questions, but instead it made me click buttons on my keyboard for all sections. I thought the test was going to ask me difficult questions about skin tones. I thought it was interesting that this implicit bias test could predict biases based off word associates and patterns. I think clicking keys on my keyboard made taking the test user friendly. The "E" key was assigned to good, or light skin tones, and the "I" was assigned to bad, or darker skin tones. Later on, this was flipped. I was suspicious of this strategy at first, because I thought that the test was setting up darker skin tones to be associated negatively from the beginning. I wondered about how this would affect my results in the end. I was also skeptical about the usefulness of a short test's ability to tell me if I had a preference for skin tones. Throughout the test I felt like I needed to answer the questions as soon as possible or else it would give me a bad result. The test consisted of matching skin tones to good and bad words. I wonder if my timing affected the results, but the end result said that I did not have a preference. I wonder if this was because I was able to match all of the icons with the words assigned to them. I would be interested to learn more about how the test was developed.
The test itself was 13 parts long. It took be about 20 minutes to go through all sections of the skin tone test. I'm not completely sure about the effectiveness of the test. For example, I'm not sure if clicking left and right for a few minutes can give an accurate result of bias. I understand the intention of the test. The tool is supposed to give insight into our biases and help us see our preferences. What if someone is just very coordinated and was able to carefully match the words to the faces? I have concerns about how honest the results could be from person to person. Although, I think it is a good start if people answer questions honestly. I think the test is a good conversation starter and can be used for professional trainings. With good debriefing and self-reflection, I think this test can have some potential to open minds. I think this test could be helpful for a lot of professionals. I think people who work in the justice studies, criminal justice, and other social justice areas should take implicit bias tests such as this one. For example, I think it would be a good starting tool for bias training for police officers. I think one thing that could make the test stronger is a stronger and more detailed description at the end I believe the purpose of this test is to make people aware of biases that they might have. This aspect of the test is very helpful, because one cannot change if they do not know where to begin. What happens after the test is up to the person, but it would have been nice to see suggestions for action steps at the end of the test. Overall, I think the Skin Tones Implicit Bias Test is a good starting point for anyone who wants to grow. I would recommend this test for anyone who works with underrepresented communities.
Conclusion I have worked on a variety of projects throughout the semester, all of which are displayed in this portfolio. The in-class assignments helped me reflect on the type of leader and professional that I should be. The experience and lessons that I gained while in my internship showed me the type of leader and professional that I can be. Both of these two combined have been important for my growth. Taking the time to deeply reflect on the readings and be immersed in the practice helped me define what my next steps are. I was able to learn more about the social justice issues that matter to me, and I learned how my skills can help move causes forward. I hope to continue working with the immigrant community and youth.
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