Cultural Competence

Chair: Herman Curiel (University of Oklahoma)
APM Assignment: 2017

Co-chair: Irán Barrara (California State University, Fresno)
APM Assignment: 2017–2019

The Cultural Competence Track stimulates and promotes innovative work on cultural competence that facilitates dialogue, exploration, and identification of new directions for curriculum, leadership, research, and pedagogy. Philosophically, cultural competence is approached within a social justice perspective that addresses the roles of social power, context, diversity (e.g., ethnicity, class, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation), intersectionality, and empowerment. Cultural competenceis defined as processes that promote effective interactions with individuals of all cultures based on curiosity and respect about difference related to language, class, ethnicity (race), and religion. This perspective affirms the dignity of individuals, families, and communities and informs practice with individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations in roles that include direct service providers, administrators, and change agents. As a resource for the development of the social work profession, this Track promotes critical thinking to enhance the development of a multisystem knowledge base in cultural competence for social work educators, researchers, and administrators.