“The seeds we want to plant must first grow roots, with self-reflection & generative conversations, before growing outward to dismantle institutional & societal oppression.”— Mercedes Tune, Capacity-Building Program Specialist
Cultural Responsiveness Organizational Self-Assessment Tool
Traditional cultural competence provides many useful points, like skill building, communication models, etc., however the greatest change is the acknowledgment that cultural responsiveness is not a destination, it is a journey—and each of us, it does not matter the background or heritage, each of us has a path. We can walk it together sometimes, and there is a very specific part of that journey that is personal. It involves self-awareness and self-forgiveness and self-growth.
Culture is not neutral. Different cultural groups are ascribed differential status and power—and it is the policies, practices, and daily habits that maintain or challenge inequities. We are calling each organization to embark with us on a journey to review structures, to challenge current policies, to be self-critical: are your resources flowing in the direction needed to build equity or to sustain the current model that is not working for everybody? How are your decisions affecting your staff and diverse groups?
Cultural Responsiveness Organizational Self-Assessment Peer Learning Circles
We live immersed in a culture where reflection, evaluation and accountability is sparse. One societal characteristic is the urgency to find answers and “fix” things….tell me the 1-2-3, and will do.
CROS Peer Learning Circle holds a space for critical reflection and exploration of sensitive topics like patriarchy and white supremacy culture, and its impact in shaping behaviors, relationships, policies and practices, and determining outcomes.
It is a space where each participant contributes to make it safe and to build community.
What People Are Saying:
“The experience has been enlightening, humbling, and revealing of some implicit biases that we unknowingly carry with us, despite trying to be vigilant about doing our work in an unbiased way”. —Family Violence Appellate Project
“The PLC helped to build a supportive network of culturally responsive organizations.”
At our 2018 Annual Membership Meeting, we heard from advocates serving culturally specific groups that they wanted a space to be in community with peers. Capacity Building Program Specialist Mercedes Tune listened and helped build the Partnership’s first Culturally Specific Collaborative. Soon afterward, the group convened in Anaheim and Modesto, and discussed how they viewed their agencies and roles within the theoretical lens of Critical Race Theory*. In the end, participants collaboratively generated its purpose:
“The Culturally Specific Collaborative exists as a response to systemic oppression. As agents of change, We reclaim ourselves, our power and identities and support one another to facilitate our collective healing. We shine light on equitable, inclusive practices to embrace transformation. By taking responsibility for the next generations, We honor the sacrifice of those who came before us and the resilience and strength of our communities.”
➜ At this particular moment, traditional approaches towards diversity, equity and inclusion are not relevant if the ultimate intention is dismantling structural racism. Courageous Conversations to address racial inequity can be the starting point within our organizations. Join us the first Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m.:
*Critical Race theory helps us understand the relationship between race, racism and power. It can help us understand the root of our trauma, pain and generational wounds emerging from STRUCTURES and POLICIES, which impact the mind, body, and heart. The charge is against the structures, not ourselves! We must find safety in our bodies.