Join us for this exciting day of training - DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED. You will learn about the four cultures that have come to the United States in the past 50 years: Hispanic, Hmong, Somali, and Indian Asian, as well as other ethnic cultures in the United States. Join us and learn about how to effectively work with these cultures to help create a more peaceful society! The cost of the day will be determined by the Planning Group.
INTERACTIVE MULTICULTURAL COMPETENCY PLANNING GROUP:
Please consider joining this Interactive Multicultural Competency Day of Training Planning Group!
AFTER A YEAR OF TELEHEALTH, WE WANT TO MEET IN PERSON AND PLAN A MULTICULTURAL DAY OF TRAINING TO UNDERSTAND COMPETENCY FOR MENTAL HEALTH PROVIDERS, EDUCATORS, AND SPIRITUAL LEADERS. WE WIL BRING AN IMMERSION EXPERIENCE TO THE FUTURE DAY OF TRAINING FOR MENTAL HEALTH PRACTIONERS, EDUCATORS, AND SPIRITUAL LEADERS. WE WILL OBSERVE WHATEVER COVID RESTRICTIONS ARE IN PLACE AT THAT TIME AND PROVIDE FOR SAFE GATHERING FOR ALL!
6 CEUs have been granted by the Board of Marriage and Family Therapy for 2021, 3 of which fulfill the Ethics Requirements for LMFTs.
Location for the Planning Group to meet: TBD
Location of the Training Day: Saint Mary's University, University Center,
2540 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Hosted by: The Institute for Family Health and Well-being.
Kate Walsh-Soucheray, Ed.D., M.A.T., M.A., LMFT
Cost: TO BE DETERMINED BY THE PLANNING GROUP
Testimonials from previous trainings:
- The day was so great and impactful! Really though-provoking!
- The best part was hearing about the history of these cultures and understanding them better.
- I gained a new, deeper awareness after this day of training.
- The best part of the day was being immersed in the cultures and how welcoming everyone was of us.
- Listening to the stories was great! This day definitely helped with my awareness of these cultures and how to work with them in therapy.
- The food was great - it was such a great day! Thank you!!
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN BEING PART OF THE PLANNING GROUP, PLEASE COMPLETE THE REGISTRATION FOR AND SEND TO: Dr. Kate Walsh-Soucheray. You may also contact Dr. Walsh-Soucheray at 651-208-9829 with questions. You will also find her on LinkedIn.
Below you will find several entries that address concepts of Multicultural Competency, which was the topic of my Dissertation in my Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Sadly, I knew very little about this topic until my Dissertation Committee assigned this question to me in my Comprehensive Exam, in July of 2017. I learned so much in one month and I knew I could not be the only therapist who had little knowledge of this all-important topic. I decided to write my Dissertation about it.
Multicultural Competency is a concept whose time has come! Individuals in our culture today, whether they work in companies that employ several ethnic groups, a church that offers services to people from various cultures, or schools that have students from foreign countries and English is their second language, the United States must make an all-out effort to educate White citizens to understand and welcome people from other ethnic and cultural groups.
Research shows that by the year 2045, the United States will be over the cusp of having more citizens who are multicultural than White. In many areas of our country, we have already attained this demographic.
What we have done to prepare our White citizens to become welcoming of multicultural citizens and residents to our country has clearly been inadequate. Referring to your organization's 'Diversity Program' is simply not enough. From what we are seeing in our country at this time, we are not doing well at achieving multicultural competency. We are not expected to become experts on every culture, but we must have an understanding of geography, the journey immigrants have made to come to the United States, and the struggles these new residents and citizens have experienced throughout their immigration to the United States.
The term "white privilege" is a divisive term and is not used in the academic literature. It is simply not there, and yet it is bantered about as if it describes the perception White citizens have in relation to multicultural residents and citizens or to describe the perception multicultural citizens or residents have of what White people hold over them.
It is time - in fact, it is clearly past time - to address this issue. We MUST become multiculturally competent and we must do it now. Time is of the essence, as we can clearly see.
Becoming Multiculturally Competent
Multicultural competency is important because we are not expected to become experts on all of the cultures that have come to the United States in the past 50 years – and they have come to the USA from all over the world! They have brought their culture, their religious practices, their child-rearing and educational practices, their language, and their values. The United States has not become the “melting pot” that it did in the 1850s, when there was another great immigration to the United States from primarily countries of Europe. Today, the cultures that have immigrated to America represent countries from all over the world, from nearly every continent, and these immigrants want to keep the above-mentioned aspects of their previous culture and also become American citizens.
What must we do to become multiculturally competent? We could begin by looking at a world map and locating the countries of the immigrants we have met in the past six months. What if we each began with that task? We could find out where they came from and ask them about their immigration process. We could also ask them about how they learned English, one of the most difficult languages to learn. Taking time to be educated is a key factor in becoming multiculturally competent.
Develop an Open Mind Mentality
Choosing to engage in a difficult dialogue (Toporek & Worthington, 2014) is so much more positive than simply making an assumption and deciding to “go with it.” When we do that, we diminish the possibility of real understanding. We are invited in the United States, and in our world at this time, to create an openness for all to be heard. It is time. When we continue to place people who have a different skin color, different cultural mores, or religious beliefs that challenge our own, we tacitly agree to maintain a divided world. However, when we make the effort to understand their point of view or their perspective on life, it is a beginning. We will not resolve all of the world’s problems when we smile at someone who is not expecting our friendliness, because all they are expecting was more judgment, but it is a beginning. Take time and challenge yourself today on your assumptions and beliefs. If you can, enter into a difficult dialogue with someone who is different in some way than you, or with someone who is like you. And when you do, try to remain open and receptive to what you hear or perceive. Approach the situation with an open mind and receive what happens.
Becoming a culturally intelligent person will not happen in a box nor will it happen overnight. We do not naturally develop cultural intelligence. Rather, we must intentionally place ourselves in situations that challenge our perspective and worldview as we experience potential discomfort. We move through that discomfort and understand our bias, which is not something we are born with, but rather we acquire, which means we can challenge it and change it.
Becoming a culturally intelligent person is much like lifting weights: you don’t start with the 30- pound dumbbells. You begin with the three-pound weights and let your muscles grow. However, if you never go to a gym, your muscles will never develop and become stronger. As it is with cultural intelligence: you have to place yourself in situations that allow you to grow culturally. What can you do today to challenge your cultural worldview?
Develop Your Cultural Intelligence (CQ) Today
Ang and Van Dyne (2015) state “those with high CQ will have more effective performance and adjustment in multicultural work groups, study abroad programs, and expatriate assignments” (p. 10). Developing a higher CQ will not happen without our concerted efforts to close the gap between the many cultures that exist in the United States and across the globe. We are a world that is highly connected and influenced by events that happen on a daily basis. We must do all we can to become as culturally literate as we are able, so that we develop mutual respect for one another. This task is assigned to each one of us and we must all do something each day to increase our CQ.
What is one small thing you could do today to become more culturally literate?
Increasing Social Capital by Lifting Everyone Up
One of the key aspects of a person who lives a good and righteous life if that they lift everyone up. They do not hold some people down so that they can feel better about themselves or more secure. Do you remember the popular kids in junior high or middle school? Their popularity usually depended on everyone liking them, which meant they often had to compromise their values and become what other people expected them to be. They gave up authenticity to gain popularity. They often maintained their popularity by excluding those kids who were authentic and true to who they were because they felt threatened. In many ways. In many ways, this is happening in our culture at this time.
In order for someone to feel good and secure about themselves and their life, they must help lift everyone up. They must provide social capital, or according to an online dictionary, they must create networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, enabling that society will function effectively. Everyone must function effectively or society will not function effectively. Some people don’t get to “win” at the expense of others “losing.” Social capital provides winning for everyone. Be a person who increases the social capital for everyone today. Let’s all make this effort to change our society.
Multicultural Competency and Self-Evaluation
It is vital that we each enter into a process of self-evaluation and examine the messages we have been taught about one another and whether they are true or not. We may also ask what purpose creating animosity between people could possibly serve! If creating animosity serves suspicion, negativity, and division, why would we ever continue to support such a message? Let each one of us become independent thinkers today. Question what you have been taught and use self-evaluation and decide for yourself what you believe is right. Do not simply take another person’s message. Be discerning. Be open. Be a better person in every way today.
Multicultural Competency and Creating a World of Peace
H. Smith (as cited in Hays, 2008) states that to be a humble person is “to regard oneself in the company of others as one, but not more than one” (p. 21). Isn’t this an interesting concept: we are one person but we do not occupy more space, whether intellectually, emotionally, physically or metaphysically, or spiritually than one person. We do not have the freedom to diminish another person’s personhood. And why would we have ever believed that occupying more space than was rightfully ours would create a peaceful world?!
I think we must all ask ourselves if we want a peaceful world. And if we respond yes, then we must do all we can to help create that world. It will not evolve on its own – it is created by our efforts and our deep desire for peace.
Judgments and Multicultural Competency
Judgment is such a common human experience and is what we do to categorize people. It is the reasoning we use to screen out people who we feel or believe threaten us or our views or beliefs. Rather than willingly entering into a discussion with people whose reasoning is different from ours, we make judgments about them and diminish their voice so that we are free to return to our own way of thinking and believing. Toporek and Worthington (2014) challenge us to have the courage to enter into difficult dialogues with people who are different from us in some way. Doing so requires that we suspend our judgments and any reactions we have to the people of difference and sit down with them. Or perhaps we sit down with someone who is like us and we talk about the difficulties we have about something and remain calm and open-minded. We are often so afraid of offending someone, or being offended, that we remain in our little, private, safe world and remain content with the judgments we extend toward others. What can you do today to challenge yourself and your judgments?
Multicultural Competency and Seeing Beyond Differences
As human beings, we identify differences to help keep ourselves safe, and safety is all the brain is interested in. In fact, our brain is wired to worry, because it is worry, or being cautious, not carefree, that will keep us alive in dangerous situations. However, the brain can also misread situations as dangerous when there is no danger.
This often happens in the case of difference. When we see someone who is different from us, our brain sends a message to be cautious. (And actually, it is our body that starts that process. I am a therapist and this process is called the Polyvagal Theory.) Nevertheless, our body sends a message to our brain that there may be danger ahead and we need to be careful. This message then causes our body and brain to react and we experience fear. Remembering to breathe and talk back to this fear-inducing message will help us see beyond our differences. And if there is danger, our brain is now more alert to respond appropriately, whether we need to be cautious or more open and responsive to the situation.
Multicultural Competency and Immersion Experiences
Immersion experiences (Barden, Shannonhouse, & Mobley (2015) are essential to help us understand our brothers and sisters who have any kind of quality that is different from our own. That may be skin color, ethnicity, or culture – we must willingly experience this difference and these individuals in their own environment so we may develop an appreciation for who they are, as well as their story. It is the story of their life that will ideally impress itself upon us and elicit compassion and caring. So today, in some way, see how you can place yourself in an environment that may be unfamiliar, and perhaps uncomfortable. Tap into your curiosity and inquisitiveness. Be open to the journey of others and you will find yourself becoming more familiar with your own story. It is through our shared humanity that we will enter into immersion experiences with others and will prove to be most important.
Multicultural Competency and Non-verbal Cultural Messages
According to Hall, (as cited in Van Dyne, Ang, and Koh, 2015), “non-verbal behaviors are especially critical because they function as a ‘silent language’ that conveys meaning in subtle and covert ways” (p. 17). Are we aware of the silent language we use each day when we see a person who is different from us in some way? Do we develop a scowl? Do we look away? Do we in some way express to the person, or persons, our disapproval of them or their lifestyle because we are uncomfortable?
Take time today to think about your cultural awareness and sensitivity and whether you have a difficult time accepting the differences in others. We all have the opportunity to make the world a better, more loving environment for all.
Think about your ‘silent language’ and whether you would want to be on the receiving end of the messages you are sending to others. Think about the times others have sent silent messages of disapproval to you and how that felt. Without question, those messages are intended to tell us the person disapproves of us, our lifestyle, our approach to life, or some other unknown bias or prejudice of which we are unaware. We only know the sting of condemnation and the lasting effect it can impose on our approach to life.
Multicultural Competency and Creating a Shared Vision
Creating a Shared Vision for human flourishing for every human being in our country at this time, as well as our world, requires that we develop a new way of seeing ourselves and others. When we truly desire the good for everyone – ourselves and everyone else – our actions will look different than if we are ‘in this for ourselves.’ Living in peace with others, especially others who are different from us in some way, is one of the most challenging things we will ever do. Jesus’ vision of the Kingdom of God was that it was not only a future reality, but a present one, as well. This is called ‘Realized Eschatology,’ which simply means that the His Kingdom is in our midst at this time. What can you do today to bring the Kingdom to the Earth?
Multicultural Competency and Ethnorelativity
When we have had to face struggles in life, we have the opportunity to be more understanding and empathic when we hear about the struggles of others. We are able to move out of an ethnocentric worldview and enter into an ethnorelative worldview. This is profoundly important if we hope to address the gap that exists between cultures in the United States and around the world. If we can remember that we are part of the human race (as Ms. Bartell said: “There is only one race – the human race!!”), we can focus on our common humanity and not the differences that exist. There will always be differences – we must focus on the similarities. Choose to be a good human today. Choose ethnorelativity, rather than ethnocentricity, at least one time today.
Multicultural Competency and Understanding Geography
When was the last time you took a geography class? Do you know where the countries of the world are located on a world map from which our most recent immigrants to the United States have come? These countries would be Somalia, which is located in eastern Africa. Immigrants who are Hmong were originally from Laos and they assisted the CIA in the Secret War in North Vietnam during the Vietnam War of the 1960s and 1970s. They moved to Thailand into refugee camps to live temporarily until they were sponsored to come to the United States, often by churches. Hispanic people have come to the United States, mostly from Mexico and the seven countries of Central America and they would prefer to be referred to by their ethnicity, rather than Hispanic, which is an academic term. And Indian Asians have come to the United States from India, and are often very well-educated and prepared to take advantage of the many educational and economic opportunities found in America. Take a moment today and find a world map on your device and locate these countries, and when you meet an immigrant from one of these countries, you will be more informed.
Multicultural Competency and Sharing Our Common Humanity
I was at the grocery store yesterday and trying to open one of those pesky, little plastic bags to put some brussels sprouts in it and there was another patron, a black man, struggling with a pesky bag, as well. I said to him, “Oh, these bags! It’s not making life easier for me!” He laughed and agreed. I said to him, “You know, we have focus on our common humanity, not on what separates us.” He looked at me so surprised (with his mask on, of course!) and said, “Yes!” and gave me a big ‘thumbs up.’ Obviously, we did not solve the world’s problems at a vegetable counter in a grocery store, but we both acknowledged that there is more we have in common as two human beings, one male and one female, one black and one white, one young and one old(er) (ME), than what divides us. Look today to find ways to bridge the gap of difference between yourself and others. Allow yourself to see and celebrate your common humanity.
Multicultural Competency and Difference
Why is difference threatening? It may be because our brains were designed to keep us safe, and when it detects something that is different, rather than categorizing it as interesting and allows us to be curious, it categorizes it as cautionary. When we are cautious, the expression on our face changes, often registering dislike. It is this look that can activate another person’s cautionary brain mechanism and cause them to respond with caution, rather than curiosity, as well. This is referred to as ‘being triggered’ and it activates the gut-brain connection, setting off a body and brain response that causes us to step back rather than to step forward. The look of caution may be registered by the other person as a microaggression, or as hostile and unwelcoming.
What if today, when your brain detects difference, you take a deep breath and give yourself a split of a second to process that difference, rather than to allow it to set off the normal gut-brain connection? In that brief split of a second, you will give yourself the opportunity to gauge whether there is an actual threat or not. Trust yourself that you will have time to get to safety if an actual threat exists. And if no threat is present, you have just given yourself a moment in time to make a decision that could welcome difference and change your life, as well as someone else’s.
Multicultural Competency and Immigration and Citizenship
Becoming a United States citizen requires a process of education and acceptance of the requirements our country presents to each immigrant. The process usually takes between six months to a year and requires that a person can speak and read English, as well as pass a test, demonstrating they understand the history of the United States and are a person of good moral character. Of course, during these turbulent times, this process has become much more lengthy and fear-producing for people who have green cards and are waiting for their citizenship review to begin. In addition, the cost of immigration is $725 for each person, which means that a family that has come to the United States must often work several jobs to pay for living expenses and save to pay this fee. Furthermore, it’s not uncommon to see these individuals participating in ESL (English as a Second Language) and citizenship classes, in addition to working and raising their families. And yet, those of us who had the privilege to be born in the United States often do not realize the struggle that legal immigration requires. You can find more information about citizenship at https://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/learn-about-citizenship/10-steps-to-naturalization.
Multicultural Competency and Social Capital
The idea of social capital for every person should seem like a simple, foregone conclusion of what we can expect from life – or at least SHOULD expect. But what if the included group believes it has the right to withhold social capital, which is defined as “the connections among individuals, the social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them” (Andriani, A., 2013; Claridge, T., 2017).
Have we created, and ARE we creating, social networks that provide reciprocity and trustworthiness for every individual, based on their personhood? And if we are not, could we ask ourselves why not? What if each individual was to live with idea that providing social capital for others would help them increase their own social capital? This is the essence of the Jewish word shalom: they only have shalom when they provide it for others and when they all have shalom.
The definition of shalom is not “no war,” but the provision of social capital for everyone. What if we each did something today, however small, to provide social capital for someone who has less that we have? Let’s create a world of peace today.
Multicultural Competency and Strength-Based Narratives
Strength-based narratives encourage individuals to identify stories in their lives that provide evidence of success and happiness. Restorative narratives speak to an individual’s strengths and help them develop depth, sustainability, and meaning in life (Tenore, 2016). Encourage everyone in your life today to see moments of success. We all focus on moments of failure and shame – the times things did not work as planned. That is our brain doing what it does – focuses on the negative – to help us be cautious and keep us safe. We have to focus on and engage happiness and on strength narratives, because the brain does not send us those messages automatically. Do all you can today to encourage others to see moments of success in life and focus on those moments. Help them develop depth, sustainability, and find meaning in life.
Multicultural Competency and Taking Social Initiative
Social Initiative in our culture is defined as “a strategic plan of action born from beyond the call of duty, realized through passion, diligence, and a genuine concern for the enrichment of communities and the common good” (Quinn, as cited in Walsh-Soucheray, 2019). We must each ask ourselves if we are contributing to the social initiative of our culture through the actions we take – not through duty – but through passion, diligence, and genuine concern for the common good of our community.
If we will each do something today to contribute to the common good, by helping another human being to feel seen and appreciated, we will have participated in social initiative. Take a moment to ask an Asian person if they have an Asian name, as well as if it has a specific meaning. Smile at someone who may not expect it. Offer to help someone in need rather than walking past them. Take a moment today to improve our world, one human interaction at a time.
Multicultural Competency and Prejudice
Prejudice is defined as “a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience” (New Oxford American Dictionary, 2017). When we are working to improve our multicultural competency, we are revealing our willingness to examine our preconceived opinions, that we realize in some part of ourselves, are not reasonable or based on actual experience. Children are typically not prejudiced because they have not formed negative opinions of others who are different. They just want to play with someone, and no matter the other child’s skin color, cultural dress, or language spoken, they are just another child. Children don’t see difference the way adults do. Adults see difference and judge that difference, oftentimes forming prejudices of those who are different. What can you do today to understand your preconceived opinions of others and challenge them?
Multicultural Competency and Becoming Agents of Change (APA, 2002)
Becoming an “agent of change” requires that we understand we each have responsibility to help make our world better and more amenable to everyone to live in peace. But what does that mean? It means that everyone should be respected for their humanity and not excluded for any reason. Those who exclude must look at themselves and ask why they need to exclude others to feel good about themselves. The answer they will likely receive, if they are honest, is that the person who is different makes them feel uncomfortable or insecure.
Let each one of us evaluate how we treat others and be open to what we see in ourselves. Do we exclude others because they make us feel uncomfortable? Do we exclude others because the difference is something we don’t want to address or deal with? If we want to be an “agent of change” in our world today, we must address our own discomfort and be open to growth.
Multicultural Competency and Critical Thinking
Critical Thinking, according to Pamela Hays is revealed through our willingness to develop our “ability to identify and challenge assumptions [one’s own as well as those of others], examine contextual influences [on one’s own thinking, too], and imagine and explore alternatives” (Brookfield, as cited in Hays, 2008, p. 29). How willing are we to challenge our thinking critically and to ask ourselves if the assumptions we have made about others are correct? To think critically is a sign of a mature adult. Think about your assumptions and challenge them in some way today.
Multicultural Competency and Mental Health Concerns
For many multicultural individuals living in the Unites States, mental health is a real concern. Due to “the rapidly changing United States culture, technology, the current political climate, as well as world-wide terrorism, has often affected the views Americans hold of citizens from certain areas of the world” (Friedersdorf, 2016, as cited in Walsh-Soucheray, 2019). What can you do today to offer a true helping hand to someone from a foreign county who might be struggling without anyone’s awareness? Can we be aware that we hold negative images of them, due to the factors mentioned above? Are we willing to see them in the most favorable way? Be a beacon of light for them today.
Multicultural Competence and the Personal Identity Model
Developing multicultural competency is not only important to develop, it is essential to engage and understand, particularly in our current societal and political environment. According to Sue, 2006, “cultural competence [is] difficult to measure and conceptualize” (p. 239). The beginning of understanding other cultures is to understand our own. Utilizing the Personal Identity Model, constructed by Sue, 2001, we will begin to construct a deeper understanding of our own personal identity and place in the world, thereby understanding the place of others in the world. In order to understand others better, we must begin with a deeper understanding of ourselves. You will find information regarding Sue’s Personal Identity Model at: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.916.8083&rep=rep1&type=pdf.
Multicultural Competency and a Culture-Infused Perspective
A culture-infused perspective is essential if we hope to develop a country that focuses on the right order of relationship among ethnicities and cultures (Collins & Arthur, 2010). As we develop a culture-infused perspective, we will need to facilitate an ethical working alliance among groups, so that everyone feels respected and appreciated (Dawson, 2017).
What can you do today to help create an ethical working alliance with co-workers, students, clients, friends, neighbors, and even strangers? The saying to “think outside the box” indicates that we think outside of the box where we are most comfortable, as we learn to bridge the gap between where we are and where others are. Let yourself explore the creation of an ethical working alliance and help establish culture-infusion in your world and the world for others.
Multicultural Competency and Facilitating Awareness
It is essential in this day and age that our country develop an awareness of an individual’s own cultural heritage, an awareness of a multicultural individuals’ cultural heritage, as well as strategies to assist multicultural coworkers, friends, students, employees, neighbors, and others as they manage issues related to immigration and cultural acclimation (Arredondo et al., 1996). These comments were made 25 years ago and we are still not there – not even close!
Find a world map on your electronic device and locate the country of origin of the multicultural individual you are working with. Ask them questions about their childhood, their immigration, and their experience throughout that process. Be open and truly listen. Imagine yourself in their place and how you would feel if you had to navigate all the changes they have managed.
Ask them how you can be of assistance to them today. They may respond by saying just that you showed an interest in them is more than enough. Be grateful for the bridge you have begun to build, and then continue building that bridge each day through your willingness to see the needs of another.
Multicultural Competency and Praxis
Have you ever heard of the word praxis? Praxis, according to Freire (1993), is reflection upon action as it transforms the world. What action are we taking today to transform the world? What are we doing to make the world a better, more loving experience for everyone? An experience where everyone feels cared for and respected, cherished and valued? Sounds like utopia, doesn’t it? Take time today to reflect on your actions and discern whether what you are doing, or what you are not doing, is affecting the world in a positive, encouraging way. Be at peace today and help others be at peace, as well.
Multicultural Competency and Critical Incidents
For multicultural individuals, life is filled with critical incidents, which are “situations or events that hold significance for learning, both for the students and teachers. They are ‘unplanned, unanticipated and uncontrolled’” (Patahuddin & Lowrie, 2015, as cited in Walsh-Soucheray, 2019). Unfortunately, for many multicultural individuals, these critical incidents are traumatic, due to prejudice from others. These incidents are also referred to as microagressions. The multicultural individuals who experience critical incidents are often taken off-guard by someone of a different ethnicity who judges them or diminishes their humanity in some way.
What can you do today to increase your awareness of the judgment you have toward People of Color? What can you do to today to be more sensitive of the moments you extend a look of judgment or diminishment of them? How can you improve your responsiveness to a person who is ethnically different from you? How can you increase your cultural competency, through humility, today?
Multicultural Competency and Social Justice
The concepts of multicultural competency and social justice have become important issues at this time in United States history, due to the dramatic shift in the demographics of the population, as a result of the tremendous influx of immigrants within the past 50 years (Ahmed et al., 2011; Dupree, Bhakta, & Patel, 2013; Frey, 2018; Kannan, 2015; & Kohn-Wood & Hooper, 2011, as cited in Walsh-Soucheray, 2019). As immigrants have brought concerns of acclimation to the United States culture, as well as within their own lives and the inequities that have been a result of their immigration status (Hays, 2014, as cited in Walsh-Soucheray, 2019), the emotional, psychological, and mental health needs multicultural clients face have affected the changing demographics becoming a reality in the United States (Dupree et al., 2013; Hays, 2014, as cited in Walsh-Soucheray, 2019). What can you do today to facilitate a more just society?
Multicultural Competency and Cultural Humility
Cultural humility is a vital characteristic that must be evident in people who hope to convey to all others a sense of respect and that they are seen. This requires us to enter into a “being-in-becoming” mentality through demonstrating our willingness to engage in difficult dialogues and allow ourselves to be uncomfortable with what we do not know. Stepping outside of our personal comfort zone allows us to see the other, as fully able as we are at that moment, and express our willingness to be changed by the relationship. Cultural humility expresses the awareness that there is no ‘right’ culture and that we are in this together, helping one another and being open to be helped by them (Ahmed et al., 2011; Cole et al., 2014; Freire, 1993; Ratts et al., 2016; Sue et al, 1992; Toporek & Worthington, 2014, as cited in Walsh-Soucheray, 2019).
You will find pictures below of previous trainings:
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