To foster development of cultural humility in social work students, educators
must listen carefully to students to uncover and disrupt implicit biases
about other groups. This study was a narrative analysis of undergraduate
social work student papers about identity and intersectionality where most
students wrote about religion/spirituality and how it was important to their
identity development and early experiences with empathy and advocacy.
Students wrote about identity development, early experiences with empathy
and advocacy, and implicit biases they held about religion. Religion and
spirituality are important to clients and social workers, and yet are rarely
addressed in the classroom. Discussion of shared religious experience and
bias could serve as a catalyst for more difficult discussions of race, gender,
sexuality, and ability bias. Better understanding of implicit bias and how
empathy happens are crucial aspects of cultural humility.