Each and every communication and interactive experience can be considered multicultural, whether it is interpersonal, in a group, local or global. Our state and local communities and workplaces, along with national and world demographics are dynamic and constantly changing. There will always be a need to develop one’s own cultural competency as well as to further develop the cultural competency of our identified groups, organizations and institutions.
Cultural Competency is a process. Becoming more culturally competent essentially means acquiring more awareness, information and skills to work effectively across cultures within the context our own communications, interests, and business professions. Ideally, this awareness begins with better understanding oneself and the culture in which one has grown and is immersed in (whether family, workplace or other settings). It then includes developing the experiences and information required to more positively interact with any and all others with both similar and different cultural variable. Learning about other cultures is just one part of this process.
Fostering an understanding and respect for diversity is important but should not be limited to simply acknowledging and accepting our differences (and similarities). It is also about learning how to manage with and within groups and to work with others, while always in mindful consideration of these differences and of the assets that we all bring.
Having said all of this, these philosophies and approaches to our work are where our programs and services differ from many others. We take a comprehensive approach to developing competency along with our view of culture and populations as holistic and diverse, and not limited to the social constructs of race, or only ethnicity per se.