19 May 2006

What is Cultural Competency?

Welcome back! My own framework for what is cultural competence starts with this:
"Do to others as you would have them do to you."
"…love your neighbor as yourself."
In a world of may cultures that is shrunk by communication, travel and migration, in order to reach across cultural divides we need to understand the point of view of other cultures around us.

Often talked about in academic circles and health care fields cultural competency, from Georgetown University's National Center for Cultural Competence:

Community Engagement

  • Cultural competence extends the concept of self-determination to the community.
  • Cultural competence involves working in conjunction with natural, informal support and helping networks within culturally diverse communities (e.g. neighborhood, civic and advocacy associations; local/neighborhood merchants and alliance groups; ethnic, social, and religious organizations; and spiritual leaders and healers).
  • Communities determine their own needs.
  • Community members are full partners in decision making.
  • Communities should economically benefit from collaboration.
  • Community engagement should result in the reciprocal transfer of knowledge and skills among all collaborators and partners.

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