Enduring patterns of behavior and exclusion, including structural factors, have resulted in enduring racial injustice. Breaking painful and powerful legacies of racism requires clear and transparent strategies, overt communication and discourse, and dedication.
Diversity drives innovation, reduces costs, enhances productivity, and makes companies competitive and successful. Lip service to the need for diversity - or lack of commitment to implementing practices to increase and celebrate diversity - is the professional equivalent of cutting off one's nose to spite their face. Nevertheless, many professional organizations have had tremendous difficulty comprehending and promoting diversity and reaping the rewards of a diverse and incisive workplace.
Cultural competency is the ability to relate to others of different race, ethnicity, background, national origin, class, or sect in meaningful and productive ways. It is a true search for understanding and enhanced communication that allows for the enactment of common goals, the creation of more effective teams, and the development of an improved set of shared ideas. Cultural competency involves investigation and acclimatization to the norms and customs of others, as well as the translation of priorities and goals into mutually satisfactory language and expectations. Cultural competency is both a status and an introspective process designed to enhance effectiveness, inclusiveness, and maximization of organizational goals. It is a challenge that shouldn't be underestimated.