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Culturally Competent Practices

Guidance on culturally competent practice for 501 Commons is provided by the Alliance for Nonprofit Management. The Alliance’s Ethical Standards for Nonprofit Capacity Building state:

Capacity builders shall be cognizant of the cultural dimensions of their work and the relationship between their own cultural identify and that of clients and communities. Capacity builders shall continually seek to achieve a high level of competency through self-awareness, learning, and building a diverse network of colleagues and partners.

Based on the Minority Executive Directors Coalition definition of cultural competency, the following describes 501 Commons’ commitment to working in a culturally competent manner:

Staff and service corps members of 501 Commons will strive to utilize a set of behaviors, attributes, and practices enabling the consultants to work effectively in cross cultural and multicultural settings.

501 Commons service corps members and staff will strive to demonstrate the following elements of a culturally competent consulting practice. Service corps members and staff will:

  • Become familiar with the history and characteristics of client agencies, including the ethnic and racial makeup of staff, board, and clients.
  • Frame issues and the consultation process in a way that values multiple perspectives.
  • Examine both the assets and the needs of the agency and people with whom they work.
  • Review and assess 501 Commons consulting tools to ensure that they are culturally sensitive and effective.
  • Create emotional safety and build trust by treating people with respect.
  • Respect and value other cultures and demonstrate an appreciation for the various ways of learning.
  • Build bridges across cultural differences, recognizing that there are individual differences within cultural groups.
  • Consistently pay attention to their own assumptions and cultural background, and reflect on how it may affect interactions with people in client agencies and their interpretation of information.
  • Engage in continuous learning and reflection, gaining an understanding of their own cultural identity and its impact on their relationships with others.