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Widener Community Reading Group

This reading group is a forum for discussion and intergroup dialogue, with the goal of improving our individual understanding of cultures, identities, histories, and communities. We hope that this increased interpersonal and community awareness will help

Widener Community Reading Group

Cultural Humility

Cultural Humility is a continual process of learning about culture(s) with the goals of:

  1. Lifelong learning & critical self reflection
  2. Challenging power imbalances
  3. Institutional accountability

(Zettervall & Nienow, 2019)

Widely used in medicine, social work, education, and now librarianship. 

Cultural humility is different from cultural competence.

  Cultural Competence Cultural Humility
Goals To build an understanding of minority cultures to better and more appropriately provide services
To encourage personal reflection and growth around culture in order to increase service providers' awareness 
  • Knowledge
  • Training
  • Introspection
  • Co-learning
  • Enforces the idea that there can be “competent” in a culture other than one's own
  • Supports the myth that cultures are monolithic.
  • Based upon academic knowledge rather than lived experience. Believes professionals can be "certified" in culture
  • Challenging for professionals to grasp the idea of learning with and from clients
  • No end result, which causes those in academia and the medical fields to struggle
  • Allows for people to strive to obtain a goal
  • Promotes skill building
  • Encourages lifelong learning with no end goal but rather an appreciation of the journey of growth and understanding
  • Puts professionals and clients in a mutually beneficial relationship and attempts to diminish damaging power dynamics