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HSCD 611 Culturally Responsive and Anti-Oppressive Practice

In this course, students engage in thoughtful dialogue regarding issues of race, class, language and immigrant status in the provision of alcohol and drug counseling and co-occurring disorders counseling services. The course places the interplay of racism, classism and addiction in its historical context, and considers how institutionalized race and class privilege manifest in current research and treatment gaps and law enforcement biases. Attention is given to the intersectionality of racism and classism with other forms of oppression, such as those based on sex, sexual and gender identity and ability. Students examine their own preconceptions and points of privilege, and evaluate methods of bridging service gaps through incremental and systemic change. Students also consider power structures in helping relationships, with the goal of creating egalitarian and empowering practices in alcohol and drug counseling and co-occurring disorders counseling.
3 Graduate credits

Effective May 7, 2016 to present

Learning outcomes


  • Distinguish historical and current manifestations of oppression in the United States and in Minnesota, with an emphasis on systems of oppression and privilege based on race and class.
  • Examine the historical interplay of drug use, availability and addiction with oppression based on race and class.
  • Examine the intersectionality of race and class oppression and privilege with those based on language, immigrant status, sex, sexual and gender identity, and ability.
  • Enlarge their capacity for critical thinking on issues of oppression, power and privilege, with special attention to identifying their own points of privilege and how these interact with their ability to provide ethical, culturally responsive care.
  • Consider the power structures inherent in helping relationships and care delivery systems, and generate strategies for providing anti-oppressive care.