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.
This topic was the focus of my Dissertation for my Doctorate in Educational Leadership. I have created a day-long training for companies, schools, and churches to teach the importance of multicultural competency and to help participants to begin to address this issue.
Please contact me for more information regarding this day of training.
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January 11, 2021 - 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 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 just the immigrants we have met in the past six months. What if we each began with that task? Few 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.
January 14, 2021: 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 were 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.
January 15, 2021 Be a trustworthy person today
Do all you can today to bring peace to your world. Be a trustworthy person to everyone you meet – let them see they can trust you to remain calm and quiet during this time of unrest and potential danger. As the inauguration approaches, be a person of peace. Bring compassion and kindness to everyone in your path today and act with integrity in all you say, all you write. In every message you convey or pass on, choose peace today.
January 16, 2021 - Developing CQ
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 acquired, 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 five-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?
January 17, 2021 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 also maintained their popularity by excluding those kids who were authentic and true to who they were because they felt threatened. In many ways, that 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 society.
Monday, January 18, 2021 MLK Day
Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and it is day we must all recognize as a day to change our attitudes for a lifetime. This is politically incorrect, but White people are called to multicultural competency in all of our relationships – with people who are Black, Latino, Native American, and all immigrants to the United States.
WE are all descendants from immigrants – even Native Americans, whose ancestors walked across the land bridge from Asia to Alaska. We must make room – physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and academically – for everyone to flourish and thrive.
We do not thrive as a country unless everyone thrives. We must work to support and encourage all people to be the best of themselves and we can do that by seeing others and encouraging them. Work on becoming multiculturally competent today. Do one small thing to increase your awareness, your sensitivity, your responsiveness, and your humility to make everyone feel welcome.
January 19, 2021 Multicultural Competency and Self-Evaluation
It is vital that we each enter into a process of self-evaluation and 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.
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