Video: Cultural Humility: People, Principles, and Practices

This video, from Professor Vivian Chávez of San Francisco State University highlights the concept of cultural humility vs. cultural competence, defining cultural humility on 3 levels:

  • Lifelong learning and critical self-reflection
  • Recognizing and challenging power imbalances for respectful partnerships
  • Institutional accountability

From the video description via youtube:

“The film tells stories of successes and challenges, and the road in between for those working to develop partnerships among community members, practitioners and academics. It encourages us to realize our power, privilege and prejudices, and be willing to accept that acquired education and credentials alone are insufficient to address social inequality. “

Because working to improve the way we treat each other is an ongoing mission, if we choose to accept it.


From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins, MSW



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Written by

I'm a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities. "Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian" is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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3 Responses

  1. Thanks, Relando, for another great video. Cultural humility. It’s a concept that I had not had labeled and it’s one that really resonates with me. As a white woman raised in a middle class family (who eventually bolted out of the closet), this is a lens that seems at once more forgiving and yet also brings a higher and more useful standard by which to live by.

    Thanks for continuing the conversation.

    • You’re welcome Tamara,

      Yes! One of the reasons I love the concept of Cultural Humility is just as you said, it allows room for forgiveness and acceptance that learning to be more responsive and humane to others is an ongoing process. I also like it because to me, it rails against the notion that one can be an “expert” in all things culture. I’ve seen this play out problematically when helping professionals who may be in a privileged position in relation to the person or group they might be serving get defensive when they receive feedback that their “help” is not being helpful but harmful. Instead of clinging to workshops we may have been to, or chapters we may have read, I think the concept of cultural humility is a good reminder that there is always more to know, and more to learn.

  1. March 3, 2019

    […] were asked to identify some barriers that prevent them from embracing the discomfort necessary for critical self-reflection and action as an agent of change in their schools. They made a word cloud of their […]

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