Empowering Women of Color

Front Cover
Columbia University Press, 1999 - Social Science - 272 pages
Women of color constitute a large proportion of most social work caseloads, and this is a comprehensive textbook that addresses the unique needs of this population. Recognizing that women of color come from many disparate backgrounds, the book includes chapters by guest authors on particular communities, including African-American women, Native American women, Latinas, Asian-Pacific women, and lesbians and bisexual women of color.

Because all women of color experience both racism and sexism, their restricted economic opportunities and feelings of disempowerment can have a negative impact on their health and mental well-being. Social workers must help their clients deal with both the concrete problems in their lives and the debilitating psychological effects of powerlessness. Lorraine M. Gutierrez and Edith A. Lewis describe both general concepts and specific techniques of the empowerment approach and show how social workers -- using client education, participatory practice processes, and a strong focus on client and community strengths -- can help women of color increase their own influence over the circumstances of their lives. Replete with narrative case studies illustrating the application of empowering methods at different phases and levels of practice, Empowering Women of Color serves as both blueprint and toolbox for one of social work's most pressing tasks: enriching the lives of women of color.


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Empowerment A Model for Practice
Empowerment Techniques Engagement and Assessment
Empowerment Techniques Practice with Individuals
Empowerment Techniques Practice with Families
Empowerment Techniques Practice with Groups
Bringing an Empowerment Perspective into Organizational Practice
Empowerment Techniques Practice with Communities
Endings Evaluation and Termination
The Sharing of Power Empowerment with Native American Women
Staying on the Path Lessons About Health and Resistance from Women of the African Diaspora in the United States
Empowerment with Latinas Lorraine Gutidrrez and Zulema Suarez
Empowerment AsianAmerican Womens Perspectives
Empowering Lesbian and Bisexual Women of Color Overcoming Three Forms of Oppression

Understanding Women of Color

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About the author (1999)

Lorraine Gutiérrez is an associate professor with the School of Social Work and Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan.

Edith Lewis is an associate professor of social work and women's studies at the University of Michigan.