Cultural Competence and Cultural Humility

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I operate from a perspective of deep respect for diversity and difference. I am keenly interested in learning and sharing perspectives, knowing that our unique cultures significantly shape our experiences and views. I consciously engage in inclusion practices and deepen my relationships by working from a cultural competence framework. And, finally, I embrace the perspective of Cultural Humility and see my competence as a life-long journey of discovery and growth through introspection, reflection, communication, and respectful relationships that invite difference.

If you are interested in learning more about my perspective, please feel free to continue reading. I have laid out my education and learning process and explained how I have come to the summary perspective above. I welcome anyone interested in further exploring the areas of diversity, culture, inclusion, cultural competence, and cultural humility to contact me.

Unpacking my Process:


Diversity means recognizing and respecting the existence and presence of diverse groups of people within a society.

Elements of diversity can include: BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Colour) and LGBTQ2 (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-sexual, Queer, and 2 Spirit) communities and extend to differences on other dimensions beyond race and sexual orientation. Diversity includes recognizing that differences exist on many dimensions; for example, different interests, talents, skills, education, socioeconomic features, urban/rural, religion, language, ethnicity, gender, political views, family roles, physical abilities, health status, etc.

Opening our eyes to the existence of diversity allows us to see that the world can exist from another’s point of view.


‘Culture’ is a word used to capture these different points of view. Culture is the multifaceted lens through which we experience and evaluate our environment, relationships, and the world. My culture influences my experience and judgments regarding my world. And your culture influences your experience and decisions about your world.

And vice versa. When I see or hear about your experience, my cultural view will influence my perception and judgment. Your cultural view influences your perception and judgments when you see or hear about my experience. Each of our cultural views is vulnerable to biases, conscious or unconscious, that erase differences (i.e., cultural blindness) or place one perspective as superior to another (i.e., cultural incapacity).

In short, it can be tough to see the world through a lens/culture that is different than our own. But, humans have differences, and these differences create a cultural lens through which the world is experienced.


Inclusion is more than just being aware and respectful of other cultures. Recognizing differences and seeking to understand and respect the perspectives of others creates a foundation for inclusion.

But inclusion means becoming culturally aware, knowledgeable of cultural differences, AND creating a system of equity (cf. equality) whereby voices of diversity are identified and amplified. Inclusion goes beyond being “politically correct” or “tokenism.” Inclusion practices are conscious actions that invite a voice of difference AND view that voice of difference as important and valuable. Different perspectives can enrich understanding, open up new opportunities, create opportunities for innovation, spark creativity, invite flexible problem-solving, and increase social cohesion.

Inclusion is when difference is recognized and consciously provided with a platform as a voice of value.


Cultural Competence is the culmination of learning how to see diversity, embrace differences, respect alternatives in perspective, invite voices of difference for the intrinsic value these voices provide. But in use of the term Cultural Competence within the area of Psychology, a significant emphasis is placed on self-awareness of one’s views and attitude toward differences between cultures,

In developing Cultural Competence, it is important to identify, challenge, and accept a person’s cultural beliefs, assumptions, and principles and commit to communicating at the expense of their cultural interface. To be a culturally competent Psychologist, it is essential to effectively communicate and provide the patient’s needs without compromising their cultural beliefs and traditions, even if they differ from our own.


The label of Cultural Competence implies that once it is achieved, the process stops. Like when you become competent to drive. You accomplish the competence, and then you keep doing what you learned.

But, culture is not static; my culture, your culture, the culture of our communities, the culture of the world shifts. We all are currently living through the COVID 19 cultural change. Culture is not static.

Cultural Humility encompasses the deliberate, ongoing journey of self-awareness, reflection, sensitivity, education, and dialog about difference, culture, biases, and cultural competence.

For me,

Cultural Competence is the action.

Cultural Humility is the process.

Let's start working together!

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