course »Cultural Humility: A Commitment to Advocate and Ally with the Communities We are Serving in Partnership with People and Organizations that Advocate for Others

Date: 1/30/2019, 10:00 am—1:00 pm
County: Alameda County
Location: Oakland
Sponsor: Seneca Family of Agencies
Phone: 510-654-4004
Cultural humility is one framework for understanding and developing a process-oriented approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion work. While some older constructs related to diversity, equity, and inclusion relied heavily on understanding ‘the other’, stressing the importance of primarily learning about communities different than our own, the cultural humility model focuses inward, on understanding our own biases, false conditioning, and actions as we work with communities and individuals different than us. It is a framework that invites us to understand, on a deepened level, how this same internalized bias and misinformation can unintentionally and negatively impact the communities we are supposed to be serving and supporting. Cultural humility is different from ‘cultural competence’. Where cultural competency assumes that there is an endpoint – a final destination, a finish line – cultural humility invites a more humble and dynamic approach: an ongoing, lifelong process of listening, learning, questioning, and transforming ourselves and the world related to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Cultural humility also recognizes and is intentionally mindful of the complexity and historical (and current) context of these pervasive issues of oppression and dehumanization. This practice invites both the time and commitment necessary to transform these complex systems and ourselves into something new and more liberating.

Embracing cultural humility requires several commitments: (1) a commitment to self-evaluation and self-critique; (2) a commitment to identify and transform power imbalances and oppressive systems; and (3) a commitment to advocate and ally with the communities we are serving and in partnership with persons and organizations seeking similar change. For the purposes of engaging school teams in strengthening and sustaining these commitments, a foundational, three-stage strategy introduces practitioners to these concepts through three progressive highly interactive training engagements.