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Underserved Communities within a Community: A Story that Challenges Assumptions
The Partnership's Cultural Responsiveness Organizational Self-Assessment (CROS) tool is here!


Last year, Maitri used the Partnership’s Cultural Responsiveness Organizational Self-Assessment (CROS) tool to meet the needs of underrepresented groups in the South Asian community. Are you ready to see where your team lands on the spectrum of cultural responsiveness? After reading about Maitri’s experience, explore the CROS tool for yourself!

What was the challenge faced and what accounts for it? 

To engage under-represented organizations and leadership within the South Asian Community – Hindi, Nepali, and Urdu speaking groups and in order to elevate cultural responsiveness in serving LGBTQ survivors of domestic violence.

What was tried in order to address the challenge? What surprises or obstacles were encountered along the way?

We re-discovered that the role of the faith based communities and of individuals within organizations influence how services are solicited and delivered. We discovered hidden bias within ourselves.

We translated our English brochure in three South Asian languages for the first time; Hindi, Nepali and Urdu, to open- up the possibility of our outreach to LEP.

We also secured valuable contacts in the Nepali and Pakistani community of the Bay Area that will improve our access to those specific communities to spread awareness of violence within family units and available services addressing the complexities.

We took the first step in learning about LGBTQ cultural responsiveness to help our efforts to reach an underserved hidden population within the South Asian Community.

What was the culmination of struggle, learning, insight, and response that led to a new result?

 We learned that building trust and acknowledging unique cultural nuances are the precursor to engaging with any community on delivery of services specially in difficult topics like domestic violence.

We will continue our efforts in reaching out to under-represented organizations and leadership within the South Asian Community – Hindi, Nepali, and Urdu speaking groups, and LGBTQ survivors of domestic violence.

What is different now and how is that impacting individuals, organizations, and/or communities?

We were made aware of perspectives we had not earlier considered. We are exploring new strategies to deal with the faith based communities and working with groups that may not currently be partners in our journey. Also more often than not, we assume everyone in the movement against DV have similar opinions regarding other social justice issues. We are bringing up new and difficult conversations re implicit bias, comprehensive immigration reform, LGBTQ rights among others in our staff and volunteer meetings and looking for training opportunities in some of these areas for the year ahead.

What do you want people to do with the information in this story?

We want that people consider the importance of exploring implicit bias within themselves and continue learning to serve the under-served.

It is an ongoing collective journey of looking inward and exploring outward surroundings in order to thrive as a service provider.