Cultural competency begins with an understanding of one’s own cultural identifiers and those of others. We each have individual identities to explore and share, including race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, ability and socioeconomic. Developing understanding of oneself and empathy for others are crucial steps toward cultural competency development.
Inclusive communication skills are also paramount to cultural competency and allow us to truly value, respect and learn from one another. They include intentionally pronouncing others’ names correctly, listening to understand rather than listening to respond, and managing the intent and impact of our words and actions.
Finally, recognizing broader systemic inequities allows our students to understand how their own identities interact with the world around them and provides insights on the larger commitment to inclusivity, equity and social justice called for by our Episcopal identity.