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Inclusive Excellence Resource Guide

On this guide, you will find resources related to the Inclusive Excellence Committee's series of workshops.

Session Three

Act of adopting elements of an outside, often minority culture, including knowledge, practices, and symbols, without understanding or respecting the original culture and context.

Intent and impact are often at odds with each other when talking about race and racism. Many folks will be under the impression that saying or doing something racist requires ill-intent. Rest assured it does not. How often have you heard someone say “you’re being too sensitive” or “I didn’t mean anything by that?” Despite what the speaker did or didn’t say, the impact was felt in a negative way. Regardless of the intent, we must take responsibility for the impact. (YWCA Definition)

Cultural humility moves away from notion of mastery to a notion of “not knowing.” Humility suggests that the individual take a position that mutes one’s own worldview and perspective, refrain from imposing one’s worldview and ways of knowing on the other, and adopt a learner stance. Cultural humility suggests that individuals develop an understanding of oneself and others, recognize one’s own prejudices and cultural misconceptions, engage in continuous self-critique and change, challenge power differentials, and develop an attitude of not knowing and to learn from the client. Furthermore, cultural humility requires that the individual demonstrate openness to differences, egolessness, and supportive interaction with clients who are different from themselves (Foronda et al., 2016).

Cultural competence has been criticized as tokenistic, assuming the worker is from a dominant culture, lacking a power analysis, and treating culture as a phenomenon to be studied and mastered by the practitioner. Cultural competence suggests that the worker is capable of gaining competency or mastery with the other, who are different from themselves. Cultural competency suggests that individuals can gain “competency” in working with those who are different from them following acquisition of “knowledge” and “awareness” of differences, and that the acquisition of a set of “skills” is possible which can then prepare one for working with differences.

Political correctness is a term that was originally intended to mean up-to-date, “respectful” language. However, “political correctness” is often used now as a put-down, in other words, “I can’t always worry about being PC.” We steer away from the idea of “political correctness” as the measuring stick for our language and actions. Instead,, we want to think about using language and taking actions that are sensitive and inclusive.

Unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group

The action or practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one's good character or the moral correctness of one's position on a particular issue

White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium.


“The term white savior, sometimes combined with savior complex to write white savior complex, refers to a white savior who acts to help non-white people, with the help in some contexts perceived to be self-serving. “ (Wiki)

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