We find ourselves in a moment in history that is challenging us to evaluate our place in conversations about racism. These conversations, if they are like mine, are happening at the dining room table, in Zoom meetings, and over the telephone. They are happening with new mid-to-executive-level professionals. They are happening between people from all walks of life.
We are at a critical moment in our country’s history that demands us as leaders to lead in creating more inclusive organizations. If you do not believe you are ready to lead in this area you NEED to do everything possible to develop a skill set if you are going to be an effective leader in your organization and your community. If you are someone who believes that you have the skill set to lead in this area but are not doing so, it is time to get off the bench and take the field.
In my experience, I have heard a lot about developing cultural competency. As defined by Cross, et al (1989) cultural competence refers to a “set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency or among professionals and enable that system, agency or those professions to work effectively in cross-cultural situations.” This has included achieving competence in some of the following ways:
Awareness of one’s own cultural worldview
Attitude toward cultural difference
Knowledge of differences and cultural practice