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Wendy’s Window: Culturally Competent in a Time of Controversy
By Wendy Gladney
Published July 16, 2020

Wendy Gladney

Watching little children play is such a joy.  I have two beautiful little grandchildren and the smiles and laughter that so innocently flow from their faces brings me such happiness.  Children have an innocence about them; it makes one wonder, what makes that end?  They just want to have fun and play with other little children.  They do not care what color they are, where they live, or what culture they come from. At what point in our lives does the change begin?  The better question might be what happens in our lives that causes this shift?

I recently posted something on social media, and I expressed that I would do anything I could to help end racism.  One of the people that follows me (and he happens to be white) shared that he did not believe it would ever be possible.  This frustrated me because I am the ultimate optimist and I refuse to stop working to help make this world better. If we give up on making wrongs right, ending stereotypes to help eradicate racism, then what hope is there for our children?  What are we fighting for?  Part of my resolve in getting up every day is to do my part to increase understanding, clarity, forgiveness, hope, and peace for a better global society.

As a professional in the world of diversity, racial equity, and inclusion, one of the things we talk about is Cultural Competence. The definition of Cultural Competence is the ability to understand, communicate with and effectively interact with people across different cultures.  For us to be able to embrace people from other cultures we must understand and be clear about our personal perspective.  We must be willing to put down our guard, drop prejudices we may have previously embraced, and acquire information and knowledge about others.

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All of us are influenced by our environment and those with whom we associate.  Whether it be our friends, co-workers, or family members, they all play a role in the perspectives we form about the world. Naturally, we all feel more comfortable with people who look like us, think like us, act like us and support the things we feel strongly about.  This includes how we vote (political party), the churches we attend, our private clubs and organizations, and even where we live and vacation.  It is said that the most segregated time in America is 11:00 am on Sunday morning.  If we want change for the future, we must examine our perspective on how we have been living.

America is a melting pot with people made up of different cultures across the globe.  Rick Tumlinson said, “We are threatened by long-unresolved issues between the melting pot of cultures that make up our nation. People are isolated, every day less united, and every day falling deeper into a new level of cultural despair.” We have the power to change this.  We can make America truly what it was meant to be.  Not for just one race or group of people, but for all of us.  We do not have to be controversial with each other. We can agree to disagree on some things without becoming heated and find the common ground that will be best and livable for all of us.  It starts with each and every one of us.

Healing Without Hate:  It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is an international coach, consultant, trainer, author and speaker. She can also be found live on Instagram @Wendygladney on Wednesdays at 12 noon PST.

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