Created in 2011, Michigan Technological University’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) is excited to offer this training model to colleagues in higher education.
CDI’s cultural competency training is designed to engage, inspire, challenge and provoke serious conversations related to diversity and to encourage current or bourgeoning leaders become agents of change. The program is a way to increase awareness, knowledge, and skills of Michigan Tech students and staff about the following issues:
- cultural literacy,
- discrimination, and
- allyship development.
The Center staff work closely with departments on campus to provide this training
to students and offer the training annually for University staff. External agencies
(universities and companies) can purchase a packaged version of the Cultural Competency
Training Model. Please contact Amy Howard at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Cultural Competency Training—The Eight Steps
Step One: Defining Diversity and Exploring Identity Development
The purpose of this training is to introduce the many aspects of diversity and the process by which identity develops. We will explore the process of socialization in order to understand the ways our values and thus our behaviors are shaped by our interaction with the world around us. We will analyze one specific aspect of diversity and discuss how we are socialized to understand and respond to that aspect, thereby exploring how we develop an understanding of ourselves in relation to others.
Step Two: Deepening Our Self-Awareness
The purpose of this training is to deepen understanding of identity and how sense of self is shaped. We will explore the social identity groups we identify as members of, what it means to us to be members of these groups, and how our membership in these groups impacts our lives. We will also analyze our understandings of what it means to be outside of the groups we identify with and how we think it impacts others to not be part of our identity groups. Finally, we will discuss how our understanding of self in relation to others is shaped by assumptions and impacts our communication with others.
Step Three: Unpacking Your Cultural Baggage
The purpose of this training is to discuss the impact bias, stereotypes and prejudice can have on people. We will spend time exploring how our own cultural views create assumptions that impact the way we see and respond to others and how this can raise unnecessary hurdles in our cross-cultural communication with others. We will also share strategies for responding to situations where stereotypes are used.
Step Four: Exploring ISMs
The purpose of this training is to discuss some of the most common ISMs and the relationship between those systems of oppression and the assumptions people make about others. We will explore how discrimination functions at the social and institutional levels and how it leads to various forms of oppression. We will also spend time exploring our role in oppression and how we are all advantaged and disadvantaged by oppression in different ways.
Step Five: Privilege Part I
The purpose of this training is to look at the ways in which one is privileged in society. The workshop is designed to introduce the concepts of privilege and oppression and how they impact relationships with others. This training also touches on the complex web of privilege and the interconnectedness of all types of privilege, as well as systemic sources of privilege and how and why they are difficult to identify in society.
Step Six: Privilege Revisited, Connecting It All
The purpose of this training is to delve deeper into participants’ responses to the exploration of privilege and oppression by looking closely at the underlying reasons for those responses. We will also spend time looking back at steps one through five to connect our understanding of diversity, the process of identity development, the disconnects that can arise during intercultural communication, the impact of bias and stereotypes on relationships with others, the types of oppression, and the way they function institutionally, as well as the ways all of these constructs work to create systems of privilege and oppression.
Step Seven: Being an Ally
The purpose of this training is to explore the meaning and importance of being an ally. The workshop will help participants understand how we use can use any privilege we do hold, within our spheres of influence, to advocate for others. We will explore the various stages of allyship development and participants will identify where they are at on their own personal journey of being an ally. We will also discuss the importance of self-care so as to avoid and/or address allyship burnout.
Step Eight: Building Your Toolbox
The purpose of this training is to pull together concepts from all previous steps to provide participants with a toolbox of tips, techniques, ideas, and critical insights so that they can incorporate inclusive and socially just practices into their everyday lives through a lens of intersectionality. We will discuss tools for active allyship as well as reiterate the importance of self and social awareness. Participants will understand that cultural competency is a never-ending journey requiring continuous learning and a commitment to strengthening their allyship.