Module 4 Cultural Humility and Self-Awareness
Share an example from your practicum (Intern site) in which a lack of cultural humility led you to make assumptions, or cultural humility helped you avoid making assumptions. What did you learn from this experience ?
Chavez, V. (2012, August 9). Cultural Humility (complete) [Video]. YouTube.

Cultural Humility

The better we understand how identities and power work together from one context to another, the less likely our movements for change are to fracture.

-Kimberle Williams Crenshaw

Cultural humility is the “ability to maintain an interpersonal stance that is other-oriented (or open to the other) in relation to aspects of cultural identity that are most important to the [person].” (Hook et al., 2013, pg. 354). In the assigned video, the presenters describe cultural humility as having three components:

1. Lifelong learning and critical self-reflection

This component stands in contrast to a measure of cultural competence that would assume that culture can be understood in a static way. Imagine that a friend said to you, “I get you now! I know everything I need to know about you because I know you identify as x ethnicity or race and you are from y place and time and you believe z ideas about what’s important and how the world works.” How would you feel toward a friend who said that to you? Or a teacher, or a supervisor, or a colleague, or a judge? Cultural humility means knowing we will never fully understand another human being.
Cultural humility also means that even when we think we know what we know about another person, or family, or community, we continue to question ourselves. Let’s say you and your partner are going to see a social worker to get help with parenting a child with autism. The social worker says, “I know you are thinking that because your child is diagnosed with autism, she is not ever going to form meaningful human connections. But I’m here to tell you that, based in the latest research, she can make big strides if you commit to intensive behavioral training. You need to stop thinking of your child as disabled and start thinking of her as differently abled.”
All of that might sound empirically supported and politically correct, but is it culturally humble? Is it open to the other? Here, the social worker is pushing existing beliefs and not finding out where you, as a couple, are at with your daughter. Even though this example is exaggerated, in smaller ways we are all capable of shifting from being open to pushing our competence. As student-learners, you may feel extra pressure to show your knowledge. Humility is not ignorance; it is the ability to learn.

2. Recognizing and challenging power imbalances for respectful partnerships

Being culturally humble means that we avoid participating unwittingly in oppression. We are open to recognizing when we, and others around us, silence others’ voices. What if your field supervisor, a male, asks you, a female, to get him a cup of coffee while you are getting client files? How would you feel? Can you respectfully seek respect? What would you say? Take a moment to think about what you would say, and how you would say it.
Or what if staff at your practicum site gossip about a certain dreaded client? “He always comes in here with a chip on his shoulder. He should st

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