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Beyond the Tip of the Iceberg: Five Stages Toward Cultural Competence

NCJ Number
Reaching Today's Youth Volume: 3 Issue: 2 Dated: Winter 1999 Pages: 9-12
J H Hanley
Date Published
4 pages
This article describes ways to help educators and practitioners acquire cultural competence.
Cultural competence is the ability to work effectively across cultures in a way that acknowledges and respects the culture of the person or organization being served. The most important ingredient in cultural competence is self-knowledge. Next is experience and positive change. Culturally competent agencies and individuals accept and respect cultural differences, continue self-assessment of cultural awareness, pay careful attention to the dynamics of cultural differences, continually expand their cultural knowledge and resources, and adopt culturally relevant service models in order to better meet the needs of minority populations. Examples include developing a cultural resources library; diversifying the professional staff; involving the community in developing services and in planning and decision-making activities; and bringing in representatives of the community served to conduct workshops for the professionals who will serve them. References