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 cultural competence helps promote the uniqueness of groups and their identities, cultural humility helps eliminate preconceived notions and appreciate a person’s individuality as someone with unique experiences within their cultural context. Individuals are made up of unique combinations of ethnicity, race, age, social-economic status, sexual orientation, abilities, and more. Cultural humility promotes respect of the individual.

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.
– C.S. Lewis


Other relevant cultural terms
Cultural ResponsivenessCultural responsiveness is about reciprocity and mutuality. The process involves exploring differences, being open to valuing others’ knowledge and expertise, and recognizing the unique cultural identity of each individual (Munoz, 2007).
Cultural IntelligenceCultural intelligence is the ability to interact effectively with others who are culturally different, and it relies on cultural metacognition—knowledge of your own attitudes, values, and skills, and those of others, (Thomas et al., 2008).
Cultural SafetyCultural safety is a sociopolitical idea about the unconscious and unspoken assumptions of power held by health providers of particular groups that have been historically marginalized. It is about the trust and safety a client experiences when treated with respect and understanding and is included in the decision-making process. Providers recognize their own culture, beliefs, and attitudes, recognizing that building trust and empowering clients requires power sharing (Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists, 2011).