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Unit Code & Name (e.g. COM568 Ethics)

COM567 Development & Diversity

Assessment Title

As2 – Diversity

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(excluding Bibliography)

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Title of essay/written work

Diversity Essay

Student’s Name Student Number (SID)

Lecturer’s Name

Unit Number & Name

COM567 Development & Diversity

Due Date: Month DD, YYYY

Word Count

Abstract: Complete the ‘Running Header’ with short title: Header is located under the Insert tab in Word. Use an abbreviation (i.e., short form) of the title of your essay/written work (e.g. if the Full Title was ‘The development of spirituality in adolescence’ the Running Header might be ‘Spirituality in adolescence’ OR ‘creating a stimulating and caring classroom or early learning environment where optimal learning can take place’ short header could be: ‘Creating optimal learning environments).

COM567 D&D DIVERSITY As2: Outline, Issues & Prompts 2022


[A] Students are required to research and prepare a 2500-word essay identifying how the diversity-related issues outlined below have influenced and affected (positively and/or negatively) their:

(i) OVERALL DEVELOPMENT (approximately 750 words); (your history: childhood to early adulthood)
(ii) their
PRESENT FUNCTIONING (approximately 750 words).

[A] Diversity-related issues ([4] of the following [6]) to be addressed in relation to development and functioning include:

1. Religious/Spiritual Tradition/Heritage

2. Social Class

3. Ethnicity/Cultural Background

4. Gender
5. Sexual Orientation (and sexual expression)
6. Disability and/or Illness


Further, students are required to:

[B.1] (i) specify which diversity-issues need to be further examined/explored (for example, within their PERSONAL THERAPEUTIC WORK), and what benefits might be derived from addressing issues in terms of their (personal) development and (present day) functioning (approximately 500 words)

[B.2 ] (ii) to consider how current diversity-related issues might affect (positively and/or negatively) their cultural awareness and multicultural competence in the (PROFESSIONAL) THERAPEUTIC SETTING (approximately 500 words).

Students are expected to demonstrate professional and personal insight in relation to their consideration of these issues.

Students should employ SECTION HEADINGS to organise their essay.

The essay should be written in the first and/or third person as appropriate.

RUBRIC 70%-100% for content

[PART A.1] 20%-30% Articulates a clear theoretical and conceptual integration of contemporary developmental, and society and culture literature, contextualised to their own developmental narrative.

[PART A.2] 20%-30% Reflects on the interface between four (4) of the following six issues: religious/spiritual; social class; ethnicity/cultural background; gender; sexual orientation; and disability/illness aspects of their history and individual development and current functioning.

[PART B.2] 15%-20% Demonstrates insight into how their experiences regarding diversity-related issues affect cultural awareness and multicultural competency in the (PROFESSIONAL) therapeutic setting.

[PART B.1] 15% -20% Demonstrates insight into the potential (PERSONAL) benefits derived from addressing diversity-related issues in terms of their development and functioning.

Outline with suggested short headings to use in APA style.

PART A: Personal Impact of 4 Diversity-Related Issues

(1500 words, 25%+25%) > 4×377/2=188 words for each half section

[1] Religious Tradition/Spiritual Heritage (377 words)

[1] Religious/Spiritual Tradition/Heritage; (how my religion influences identity, celebrations, morality) Choose the one title you prefer and maintain consistency.

My religious tradition growing up was … [brief description to orient the reader] (25 words)

Impact on Overall Development (180wds)

Begin writing here…

Impact on Present Day Functioning (180wds)

Begin writing here…


[2] Social Class

(higher/upper: with ready easy access to wealth and resources; lower: struggle to gain access to same; obstacles/barriers; middle)

My social class growing up was … [brief description] (16 words approx)

Impact on Overall Development (180wds)

Begin writing here…

Impact on Present Day Functioning (180wds)

Begin writing here…

[3] Ethnic and Cultural History

(membership of my cultural group) (Celebrations/festivals, as opportunity for community bonding/participation)

My cultural heritage is/was … [brief description] (16 words approx)

Impact on Overall Development (180wds)

Begin writing here…

Impact on Present Day Functioning (180wds)

Begin writing here…


[4] Gender

(gender role/gender expression/?); … [brief description] (16 words approx)

Impact on Overall Development (180wds)

Begin writing here…

Impact on Present Day Functioning (180wds)

Begin writing here…


[5] Sexual Orientation

[brief description] (16 words approx)

Impact on Overall Development (180wds)

Begin writing here…

Impact on Present Day Functioning (180wds)

Begin writing here…


[6] Disability and/or Illness

My experience of disability/illness was/is … [brief description] (16 words approx)

Impact on Overall Development (180wds)

Begin writing here…

Impact on Present Day Functioning (180wds)

Begin writing here…


PART B: Benefits of Receiving Counselling

Now focus in on 2 diversity areas that are most alive in you at present


Personal Benefits of Receiving Counselling (500 words)

Diversity-issues to be explored. Out of the four you have discussed select 2 that are still/most relevant for you now. Personal benefits to receiving counselling, has 2 aspects…

[a] How would/might counselling have benefited me and early development if I had access to counselling over the years?

[b] How could counselling benefit me now?

First Diversity Area Name

Historical benefits. Begin writing here…

Present day benefits. Begin writing here…

Second Diversity Area Name

Historical benefits. Begin writing here…

Present day benefits. Begin writing here…


Professional Benefits of Diversity Related Experience (500 words).

How will my experiences of diversity-related issues impact my professional cultural awareness and multicultural competency as I provide counselling to others in the future?.

Consider… experiences of privilege and that impact as a professional; experiences of difference/discrimination/lack of access to resources and that impact as a professional

How has my experience >>> contributes positively impact /advantages / benefits/ … Will it increase my ability/capacity to… ???

Research this: include citations; Key words: counsellors/psychology; Ability to act as social justice advocate




Ratts, M. J., Singh, A. A., Nassar-McMillan, S., Butler, S. K., McCullough, J. R., & Hipolito-Delgado, C. (2015). Multicultural and social justice counseling competencies. https://www.counseling.org/docs/default-source/competencies/multicultural-and-social-justice-counseling-competencies.pdf?sfvrsn=14

Ratts, M. J., Singh, A. A., NassarMcMillan, S., Butler, S. K., & McCullough, J. R. (2016). Multicultural and social justice counseling competencies: Guidelines for the counseling profession. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 44(1), 28-48.

Research Guidance

Key words: to use in your research

multicultural psychology; multi-cultural competence; culturally competent counselling

multicultural and social justice counselling competencies

multicultural and social justice advocacy

operationalise cultural competency

assessing multicultural counselling competence

decolonise counselling practice

role of theory, power and action

Social change and advocacy theories; empowerment and community engagement theories; the role of advocacy within the counselling profession, advocacy needs, advocacy strategies and challenges to advocacy

Authors to look for include:

Lee; Sue; Pederson; Arrendondo; Ratts, Singh; Ahmed; Bowen; Shamshad; Marsella and Yamada;

Counselling Competencies across various domains can be found here


before submitting, save doc as new version [v02] and delete extra notes and the appendices following

Appendix 1 – Social Justice Definitions


Prejudice: A judgment or belief that is formed on insufficient grounds before facts are known or in disregard of facts that contradict it. Prejudices are learned and can be unlearned. 

Discrimination: The unequal allocation of goods, resources, and services, and the limitation of access to full participation in society based on individual membership in a particular social group; reinforced by law, policy, and cultural norms that allow for differential treatment on the basis of identity.

Social Power: Access to resources that enhance one’s chances of getting what one needs in order to lead a comfortable, productive and safe life. 

Oppression: When an agent group, whether knowingly or unknowingly, abuses a target group. This pervasive system is rooted historically and maintained through individual and institutional/systematic discrimination, personal bias, bigotry, and social prejudice, resulting in a condition of privilege for the agent group at the expense of the target group. 


Privilege: Unearned access to resources (social power) that are only readily available to some people because of their social group membership; an advantage, or immunity granted to or enjoyed by one societal group above and beyond the common advantage of all other groups. Privilege is often invisible to those who have it.

Socialization: The process by which a human beginning at infancy acquires the habits, beliefs, and accumulated knowledge of society through education and training (by family, friends, culture and systems/institutions).  

Target or Oppressed Identities: Social groups that are negatively valued, considered to be inferior, abnormal, or dependent and given limited access to resources and social power. 

Agent or Privileged identities: Social groups that are positively valued considered superior, independent, or “normal” and have access to resources and power. 

Collusion: Ways that members of agent and target groups think and act, often unconsciously, that support oppressive systems and maintains the status quo. 

Appendix 2 – Diversity Related issues

Prompts for discussion; only use those that are relevant to you… Personal impact

DIVERSITY RELATED ISSUES impact of that diversity area on my experience of … Questions to ask of myself

Who I am (Personal Identity) is respected/honoured/welcomed/ affirmed/celebrated/ & encouraged to flourish. (OR is it shamed, dismissed),

My Choices (personal autonomy) are respected/honoured/welcomed/ affirmed/ celebrated. (OR are they limited, punished…)

Opportunities are available to me as much as to others

for advancement/enrichment /growth

for leadership/responsibility/influence

Based on one of these areas of diversity

I am aware that I receive (more or less) privileges/benefits compared to others

I am aware that I receive (more or less) sanctions/limitations compared to others

Based on one of these areas of diversity

I am made/conditioned to feel proud/confident/stronger/inviolable/

I am made/conditioned to feel ashamed/less confident/weaker/vulnerable/wary-cautious-apprehensive /acquiescent

I am not part of the dominant culture: either [a] Difference, they just do and approach everything differently to my culture. …this could include factors such as…. (i.e. coming from a differing worldview/value system) or [b] I seem to mostly come off second best in my community/culture/society [disadvantaged, no matter what I do I just can’t seem to ‘make it’].

Dominant = [often can be] western, male, middle-class, urban, literate, educated, individualistic [depending on the culture/society these can change]

Non-Dominant = eastern, female, lower class, rural, oral, uneducated, community-minded [can be, may be, generally, depending on which country you are in]

Access to resources I experience the same/or more limited/or more privileged access to resources as others including resources such as…

Education, money, technology, transport, subsidies, assumption of innocence/guilt.

Levels of Bias/ otherness/ marginalisation/ discrimination:

[1] Bias: stereotyping, belittling, non-inclusive language, [2] Acts of Prejudice: bullying; [3] Discrimination: (systems) Economic, educational, political, employment.

Internalised oppression: learnt behaviour where you lower or reduce your own expectations, confidence, initiative, participation, voice;

targets of oppression experience themselves as: stereotyped; marginalized, disenfranchised, exploited, victimized;…subject to powerlessness, cultural imperialism, and violence … by others.

exclusion/isolation/hurdles: limited access to resources: social (education, welfare, housing); economic (job, income, wealth) Legal/political; cultural/moral (festivals, worship, rituals); knowledge


Experiences of …


Prejudice, Discrimination, Social Power, Oppression.


Privilege, Socialization, Target or Oppressed Identities, Agent or Privileged Identities, Collusion.


Prompts for your writing

This is a guide only to help you begin to find your voice and begin this discussion; Only use those areas that are relevant to you and your story

[4] GENDER: (Gender roles, gender expression, Cultural expression of gender, stereotype)

Brief description of circumstances of my childhood related to gender; family attitude, community attitude, my developing sense of self as female/male child (e.g. was my gender welcomed & celebrated by my parents at my birth?) PROMPTS for your reflection….

I feel comfortable & happy with my gender… or not

I feel my gender is/has been accepted, welcomed & celebrated by my family/in my community… or not

I feel my gender has as much capacity for autonomy as others. (I am allowed choice, agency) Examples:

Subcontinent: as a woman: menstruating, restrictions, cannot participate in common events, such as cooking, festivals and home worship. for the male its compulsory to be employed however its optional for females. For females generally, its compulsory to be married age 23-24. However, for males can postpone marriage; I must choose a man from my same caste.

…much easier being a male in India;. issues of safety for women.

Differing expectations on males and females e.g. domestic duties/household chores;

Firstborn (son/daughter) status and responsibilities;

I feel I am able to freely express my gender within the norms of gender expression demonstrated within my community.

Is the cultural expression of masculine/ feminine identity narrow, rigid & well defined OR is it flexible, broad & diverse?

Career choice: E.g. Male wanting to study art/design when dominant culture is ‘business’ (China), when dominant culture is ‘macho’ (Mediterranean, Latino).

Female clothing expression is always “cute/ingenue” (China) with little alternative styles.

Expression through: profession/occupation, fashion/wardrobe, hobbies/interests /activities, sports, dance,

I need to go outside my community/culture to witness a congruent expression of my masculine/ feminine identity i.e. Talking about Stereotypes: are they rigid/limiting or flexible/diverse.


Brief description of circumstances of my childhood related to sexuality. family environment, community environment, my developing sense of self as sexual being. – (values attitudes beliefs, behaviours)

To what degree do I feel comfortable having peer friendships with the opposite sex.

This is of no consequence to others

This would be frowned upon by others

I am free to initiate and negotiate in a romantic relationship (boyfriend/girlfriend)

OR others choose for me who I can be with. [agency autonomy]

OR then, within a romantic relationship, my choices become more limited/ or do they more expanded.

I am free to initiate and negotiate an intimate/sexual relationship (same sex or opposite sex partner)

Choice of partner

I can choose my own partner/others choose for me.

My choice of partner is accepted or is it frowned upon/rejected.

I can choose to leave my partner and that will be ok or will it be accepted/frowned upon?

Within the relationship

Yes, I can express my sexual preferences and they are honoured/ welcomed/ celebrated

Has being in an intimate/sexual relationship reduced my autonomy/choices

Has being in an intimate/sexual relationship given me greater or lesser status in my community

Has being in an intimate/sexual relationship reduced /increased my sense of personal safety.

Has being in an intimate/sexual relationship reduced /increased my ability to express preference, choice, opinions, contributions.

I feel I can have free sexual expression within my intimate relationship, which brings me joy and happiness & sense of well-being & flourishing. (I experience a positive sexual relationship)

Caution: regarding sexual expression, each culture needs to be respectful of an opposite culture, whether conservative culture or a culture that is freer in their sexual expression. Refrain from judging.

Unwanted sexual experiences

During the event.

After the event, how might diversity related issues have contributed to being protected OR vulnerable; being heard OR silenced; being helped/supported OR dismissed/devalued?

Caution: a sensitive area; your choice whether to include this or leave it out. Unwanted sexual experiences, whatever their degree, are powerfully impacting; let alone those characterised with violence or with power imbalance (ie.abuse)

Religious/Spiritual Tradition/Heritage:

Religion: e.g. Hindu; Buddhism; Islam; Jewish

Christian: Protestant/Catholicism/Orthodox/Pentecostal/Brethren; or ….

Did my religious group (church, community, school) … have strong bonds through celebrations/rituals/ symbols/ feasts, dance, costume/dress, singing/ worship

Did my religious group keep quite closed so I had little experience with others outside the group?

My experience of acceptance of my religion/spirituality by others (community, culture workplace); or non-acceptance such as…

Was my religion regarded as dominant in my culture? Or was it non-dominant?

Due to my religion did I have experiences of marginalisation, discrimination … or of privilege/advantage


personal identity vs group identity.

Did/does my spirituality help me overcome diversity issues;

Social Class: (usually based on wealth, education, as well as parentage)

Upper/privileged/wealthy class: with easy and ready access to wealth and resources, with supports to access? Assumed expectations of privilege?

Lower/working class: with limited access to finances and resources? or with barriers to access these? Pressure to remain working class?

Middle class.

Welfare class?

Ethnic and Cultural History;

e.g. Nepalese, Indian culture; Australia

Asian cultures (& sub-continental): share common values of:

honour/shame; powerful issues of shame, I must bring honour to my family: respect parental decisions about education and marriage (who and when), including no sex before marriage.

reverence respect for elders; we have to bow, namaste, compulsory


unique qualities

India: British colonial history: therefore, familiar with western cultural influence and English & education; Dress/dance

Nepal: what is the expression of Nepalese identity. Limited/small contact with western influence; Influenced by India, shares similar cultural values with India; Educated: government native language; private school in English; Dress/dance; Geography, mountains snow, remote? small village / larger city.


Negative aspects of culture: stereotypes, ‘tall poppy’?,

Positive aspects of culture:

Indigenous/ first nations culture

[4] Gender

[5] Sexual Orientation

[6] Disability and Illness/Sickness

Hospitalisation? I had no significant illnesses, or I have no disabilities.

Any Times of depression/anxiety /stress/ mental illness? Invisible, Undiagnosed?

Caretaker role: when someone else is sick. (description) In the role of caretaker I had full/partial responsibility to care for…(reflection) This experience helps me understand …


Paragraph Writing Guidance for each AREA OF DIVERSITY

[a]Early years; [b]Primary years; [c]Adolescence; [d]early adulthood (18-25); … up to and including their current development stage.

For each diversity related issue paragraph

Recall general cultural context (community/village/region/country & age/stage);

At early/primary age:

Carefully select a specific event(s)/memory that reflects well this diversity area

note contexts (family, vs village, vs work, vs school, vs celebrations)

briefly describe What happened; then describe my response at that time/age

comment on the meaning/impact/significance that was received by you as this younger self

at a later age (adolescence) repeat the same

at early adulthood repeat.

Present day: comment on how this has shaped you now; how you are experiencing this now; how your managing this now. awareness/ realisations/ new values/ etc.