In 1995, I started my work in HIV/AIDS as a volunteer working for Stop AIDS Indiana. From the very start, diverse has been always on the forefront of any training relating to and around doing any sort of HIV work. So after, many, many years, I'm still having to attend "diversity trainings" to help me become more in tuned with my clients and workplace.
Most diversity or cultural competency trainings....well....suck. I've only attended one training in my long history of attending these types of trainings that I found effective. Most are so seeped in stereotypical concepts of cultural and diversity that it could leave any untrained person feeling validated by their opinions of how others think and believe. I completely understand the purpose of cultural competency training. These issues need to be discussed in the workplace but there's seems to be a lack of effective trainers on the topic and very few curricula that addresses the issues of cultural competency that develops the capacity of any organization to stronger assess the diversity of their staff, management, etc.
This won't be the last of the trainings I will attend on the topic but I can't wait for that day when I feel good about spending 16hrs of my time to learn that you need a bilingual staff person if you're serving non-english speaking clients. WOW..... :/
The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect.
It means understanding that each individual is unique,
and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along
the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs,
political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration
of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment.
It is about understanding each other and moving beyond
simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the
rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.