The Catalyst

Kathy Castillo’s Dispute Gets Published

The Twin Cities StarTribune recently featured one of St. Cloud State University’s MSW student’s letters in their "Readers Write" section.  Kathy Castillo, a second year MSW student, wrote to the paper to dispute with writer Katherine Kersten’s views of cultural competence.  Kathy later stated, "I would encourage students to read Katherine Kersten's articles in the Sunday paper as a means to increase awareness of conservative viewpoints regarding issues which frequently seem to appear on Social Worker's social justice agendas".

Kathy’s letter is featured below.

Kersten's argument that cultural competence is "ideological nonsense" ignores historical events that have contributed to white privilege in this country. Being white has allowed us access to resources unavailable to nonwhites.

Native Americans and blacks were excluded from voting -- fewer than 60 years ago. Blacks weren't even allowed to attend the same schools as white children.

This institutionalized lack of equal access to resources, often manifested in the form of poverty, is a major factor in broken families, lack of education and poor nurturing skills -- the family risk factors identified. It's easy to be complacent in that denial.

Because education is a requirement for American children, teachers play an integral role in ensuring learning is equally accessible to all students. How can this be accomplished if they only know how to teach white children?

-KATHY CASTILLO, ELK RIVER

Click on the link to view Kersten’s article: http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/142129013.html

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