We use the cultural humility framework to guide our work and offer trainings for other units on campus.
The notion of cultural humility was first articulated by scholars in the healthcare field (Tervalon & Murray-Garcia, 1998), but it has since been applied in many other academic and professional areas. Instead of developing expertise or competence in another culture, the focus of cultural humility is on self-evaluation, self-critique, and developing awareness of one’s own culture. This includes an understanding that our own knowledge and experiences have important limitations and that cross-cultural engagement is an active, life-long learning process that will never be entirely completed.
Cultural humility also gives weight to the institutional context in which a relationship exists. For instance, we are operating within and across universities, and power might be distributed differentially between students and faculty, or between universities in the US and our international partners. This power differential influences how we view ourselves and behave and how we view others and interact with them.
Cultural Humility for COIL courses
This is a brief video we created for our COIL Fellows program. It introduces the concept of cultural humility and applies it to the context of international virtual exchange.
Cultural Humility: People, Principles and Practices
This is a 30-minute documentary by San Francisco State professor Vivian Chávez, that mixes poetry with music, interviews, archival footage, and images of community, nature and dance to explain what cultural humility is and why we need it.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to arrange a training session.
A Critical Distinction in Defining Physician Training Outcomes in Multicultural Education. Melanie Tervalon, Jann Murray-García. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, Volume 9, Number 2, May 1998, pp. 117-125. Johns Hopkins University Press.