Cultural awareness and competence refers to the ability of an individual to postpone judgment and prejudice toward other people based on their religious background, race or ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender, age, and such, and also one’s capability of understanding, accepting, and even adapting to unfamiliar culture, points of view, beliefs, ideologies, traditions, etc. Raising one’s cultural awareness and competence requires allocating time and exerting effort in learning and understanding the concepts of multiculturalism or cultural diversity.
For instance, developing specific learning goals and a plan of action is an excellent start to promoting cultural awareness. My desire to raise my cultural awareness of two specific groups, particularly homosexuals and individuals belonging to the black population, require that I set personal learning goals and a plan of action that will guide how I am going to go about the process of learning and understanding culture based on race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.
For this particular case, I believe that two of my learning goals should include reviewing the history of the African-American people, particularly the reasons why they are being discriminated upon, as well as the unfamiliar cultural practices and traditions and the meaning and significance that deepens or intensify their culture, and understanding the personal sentiments and emotions of homosexuals in order for me to recognize where they are coming from and be able to empathize with them in the process regarding their unfortunate situation especially when it comes to being judged or discriminated because of their sexual orientation.
In order for me to realize the aforementioned learning goals, I plan to conduct research by reading books, magazines, newspaper articles, journal publications, research studies, online articles, and such, about black people and homosexuality. Moreover, I feel that there is a need for me to socialize with individuals belonging to the African-American culture and homosexuals in order for me to obtain first-hand information about their sentiments, experiences, knowledge, and such.
I believe that through my willingness and determination to immerse myself into the African-American culture and the world of homosexuality, I will be able to promote cultural awareness simply by being conscious of the issues that they burden themselves with. EXODUS International is an online website that discriminates against homosexuals. It is a religion-based organization that provides assistance for individuals who want to “leave homosexuality.
” The organization subtly reiterates that homosexuality is against the will and the word of God and that “leaving homosexuality” is a way for individuals to live a better life according to what God wants for His children. Moreover, within the lines of EXODUS International’s mission and objectives, the organization clearly mentions that homosexuals will not be able to live a fulfilling and holy life. (EXODUS International, 2005) The blog “Stuff White People Like” is an online website that discriminates against African-Americans simply because the site is devoted to discuss issues that generalize on the likes and dislikes of white people.
The website lists more than one hundred things that white people like. I believe generalizing and labeling things or situations as something that is true or amenable only for a certain race is close to prejudice and bias since one is limiting these things and situations to a particular race only despite the fact that other individuals from diverse racial backgrounds may share the likes and dislikes of white people. (Stuff White People Like, 2009) I can honestly say that I am non-judgmental or prejudice in any way against any group of people in society depending on their race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender, and such.
I am also proud to say that my parents raised me well. Although my family is American and adheres to Christianity as a religion, we do not judge other people from different racial backgrounds and religions. Because of my parents and family, I was able to understand that people are different from each other, and although we are different, I do not have the right to judge other people because of it. Moreover, I understand that people have different frames of mind or worldviews and we see things and situations differently.
Handling the matter only requires respect and acceptance and the understanding of cultural diversity or multiculturalism. Judging from my self-assessment of my cultural awareness and competency, I believe I will be able to uphold moral and ethical principles in my profession, especially with issues that concern multiculturalism. Perhaps the only challenge that I would have to face is how I am going to develop and increase my cultural awareness to cope with multicultural trends and new information.
References EXODUS International. (2005). Thinking of Leaving Homosexuality? Retrieved January 7, 2009, from Exodus International. Website: http://exodus. to/help/? option=com_content&task=view&id=327&Itemid=147 Harvey, C. & Alard, M. J. (2008). Understanding and Managing Diversity, 4th Ed. Prentice Hall. Stuff White People Like. (2009). Retrieved January 7, 2009, from Stuff White People Like. Website: http://stuffwhitepeoplelike. com/