Cultural Humility & Cultural Competence

Posted On May 10, 2017
Categories News 2016

The Multicultural Center never stops learning. The term multicultural is a deep well of a word, and to strive towards multicultural competence is to never stop learning from others about their own cultures, their experiences, their needs.

In 1998, Melanie Tervalon and Jann Murray-García published an academic article in the healthcare world that introduced the concept of cultural humility as distinguishable from cultural competence. For Tervalon and Murray-García, this was an opportunity to enhance the patient-centered experience in the field of medicine by embracing a lifelong learner model; elsewhere in the world of multicultural life and work, the same principles of being flexible and humble apply. The Multicultural Center opens its doors and the minds of staff to the opportunity to learn from others, and to validate and dignify their experiences by never assuming staff have become so competent that they have nothing left to learn. In this light, competence becomes the goal, and humility becomes the best path towards the goal.

The Multicultural Center passes these values onto the 2017-2018 cohort of Multicultural Competence and Peer Education Ambassadors, or MAP Ambassadors, as they are sometimes called. These six Georgia State University students are charged with facilitating multicultural learning in the Georgia State University community through needs assessments, workshops, discussion forums and inclusive programming. The Multicultural Center is excited to welcome Kenny Johnson, Sinclaire Johnson, Jessica Jones, Moe Priester, Savannah Setter and Jaqualla Sharpley to their new roles representing the Multicultural Center around campus as MAP Ambassadors! These students bring different skills, interests and life experiences to the table. What they have in common is the drive to create safe spaces for multicultural learning in the Georgia State University community.

Reference: Tervalon, M., & Murray-Garcia, j. (1998). Cultural Humility versus cultural competence: A critical distinction in defining physician training outcomes in multicultural education. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 9(20), 118.