Developmental Asset - Cultural Competency

7/24/2013 by sarah

By Barbara Lockhart, President CYSA

Often we hear little "buzz words or phrases" in our social or professional circles and wonder: Hmmm... What does it really mean? Cultural competency was one of those phrases for me when I first began pursuing a career in social work. It seemed that every other professor I had in college was chatting it up about cultural competency!  Of course now I understand that true cultural competency begins at home! Teaching our kids to understand and accept the differences which may exist between themselves and others is the first step in creating and maintaining an environment that will reflect kindness, understanding, & tolerance.

When a young person has knowledge of and comfort with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds it only adds to their character and helps them to develop a more eclectic & rich world view. It is often scary when we are faced with an idea, a way of dressing,  foods, and customs and values that are not the same as what we are used to, but that is actually the fun part of it...the not knowing, the discovering of something new & cool... adventuring outside our own little box! The truth is that often we have something new and cool to share from our own set of traditions, customs, and values with others who often find them to be just as cool! After all, the saying goes: "Dare to be Different"  not  "Dare to be the Same!"


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