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Diversity + Inclusion Cultural Competencies

Competencies provides an effective avenue in closing disparity gaps

Cultural competency provides an effective avenue in closing the disparities gap between communities. It’s the way people can come together and talk about concerns without cultural differences hindering the conversation, but enhancing it. Quite simply, programs and services that are respectful of and responsive to the cultural beliefs, practices and norms of diverse individuals can help bring about positive outcomes.

Culturally Competent Emporia State University graduates are expected to be:

  • Knowledgeable and effective communicators within and across cultures. To facilitate effective communication, ESU graduates should be aware of socially constructed identities (current and historic) within the United States and the global community. They should be capable of fostering constructive discussions about issues relating to difference, prejudice, and bias.

To effectively manage conflict, ESU graduates should be aware of the intended and unintended consequences of actions and words by individuals and groups. They should be aware of the range of attitudes and behaviors (Kansas, U.S., global) that involve perceived superiority, oppression, prejudice, and discrimination based on socially constructed identities. They should be knowledgeable about strategies that challenge detrimental, oppressive, or unfair behaviors, while respecting the rights of others to have alternative viewpoints. They should be able to apply those strategies situationally to provide adaptive solutions.

To be successful leaders, ESU graduates should also be aware of the necessity to be culturally, civically, and professionally involved to promote the common good. They should be aware of basic leadership competencies so that they are prepared to diagnose situations, management themselves, energize others and intervene skillfully to promote cultural awareness, understanding, empathy and positive energy for cultural harmony.

They should also advocate for the respectful treatment of all people.

Improving Cultural Capacity

Authentic multicultural understanding results from honestly recognizing and confronting the sociopolitical realities that impact the lived experiences of all people. Becoming aware of oneʼs own biases as well as recognizing sociopolitical issues such as oppression, racism, power and privilege, function as initial strategies that naturally lead into the cultural competence sequence.
Source: Stith-Williams, V. & Haynes, P. (2007). A resource manual for developing cultural competence.


Culture: refers to integrated patterns of human behavior that include the language, thoughts, communications, actions, customs, beliefs, values, and institutions of racial, ethnic, religious, or social groups.

Cultural Competence: The integration and transformation of knowledge about individuals and groups of people into specific and congruent behaviors, attitudes, policies, and practices used in appropriate cultural settings to increase the quality of services; thereby producing better outcomes.

Cultural Pluralism: Recognition of the contribution of each group to the common civilization. It encourages the maintenance and development of different life styles, languages and convictions. It is a commitment to deal cooperatively with common concerns. It strives to create the conditions of harmony and respect within a culturally diverse society.