KU students, faculty, researchers, staff, and alumni are engaged with communities locally and globally. Meaningful engagement with partners in communities is part of our service-learning, community-engaged research and scholarship, and lifelong commitment to public service.
This toolbox serves as a guide to support our collaborative work using our Strategic Action Framework for Community Engagement.
Our framework for community engagement includes the following phases: Assessing the Situation, Planning what will be done, Taking Action, Evaluating what has occurred, Sustaining the Effort, and Communicating and Celebrating successes. Each phase incorporates Engagement and Reflection.
Toolkit: Terms to Know
Civic Engagement – “opting into responsibility and participation in public life”
- Definition: Working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values, and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes.
Community Engagement – “a process and partnership with communities”
- Definition: Establishing reciprocal, strategic partnerships in the community where the role of the expert is shared, with a focus on both processes and outcomes.
Civic Responsibility –
- Active participation in public life of a community in an INFORMED, COMMITTED, AND CONSTRUCTIVE MANNER, with a focus on the common good.
Social Justice: Terms to Know
Social Justice –
- Social justice encompasses diversity and multiculturalism allowing an inclusive, anti-racist, and equitable environment.
Cultural Competence –
- “Cultural competence is the ability of a person to effectively interact, work, and develop meaningful relationships with people of various cultural backgrounds. Cultural background can include the beliefs, customs, and behaviors of people from various groups. Gaining cultural competence is a lifelong process of increasing self-awareness, developing social skills and behaviors around diversity, and gaining the ability to advocate for others. It goes beyond tolerance, which implies that one is simply willing to overlook differences. Instead, it includes recognizing and respecting diversity through our words and actions in all contexts.” (De Guzman et al, 2016)
Cultural Humility –
- The “ability to maintain an interpersonal stance that is other-oriented (or open to the other) in relation to aspects of cultural identity that are most important to the [person].” (Hook et al, 2013)
At the center of it all, it is important to create an environment of equity and inclusion. This is an active process and should be incorporated in all phases of your work. Allyship and cultural competence are important aspects of effective and inclusive engagement with and within our communities. It is important to collaboratively work towards conditions that support equity, particularly for communities and groups who may have a history with and ongoing experience of marginalization.
We should continually be building the cultural competence of ourselves as individuals and the organizations with which we work or serve. Cultural competence exists as a continuum and includes the development of attitudes (empathy, resilience, openness), skills (self-monitoring, rapport building, relationship building), and knowledge (cultural awareness, integration, sense making). It is not a simple state to achieve; rather it involves an ongoing commitment to these values. Cultural humility, as you will read later in this section, challenges us to further acknowledge our own limitations in interacting with those from different backgrounds.
Addressing racial and other biases can be uncomfortable, shedding light on the roles we might have in propagating discrimination and oppression. However, building towards cultural competence can promote allyship and empower us to enact change in our communities.
Multidimensional Facets of Cultural Competence Continuum of Cultural Competence Elements of Cultural Competence Resources on Cultural Competence and Allyship Cultural Competence Continuum Cultural humility for clinical researchers …
Cultural humility is foundational for an environment that eliminates disparities and promotes equity. Cultural humility is a life-long process of self-reflection, continued discovery, and maintenance to build trustworthy relationships. While …
Understanding Equity and Privilege
Understanding Equity Equality and equity are similar concepts, but their differences matter. Equality is treating all people the same and providing equal access to opportunity. Equity refers to proportional representation …