Reaching New Heights — Organizational Cultural Proficiency

The Opportunity

Organizations can thrive in multicultural contexts by integrating principles of social justice and cultural competency into all aspects of their work. As defined by Terry Cross, MSW, and colleagues “cultural competence” is “a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professionals and enable that system, agency, or those professionals to work effectively in cross-cultural situations.”

Learn more about Cardea’s theory of change for developing a culturally proficient organization…

Theory of Change for Developing a Culturally Proficient Organization Theory of Change for Developing a Culturally Proficient Organization (175 KB)

Our Strategy

Cardea partners with organizations to build capacity for cultural proficiency at both the individual and organizational/systems levels.

To build capacity at the individual level, we provide a range of workshops, customized to the needs of the organization and its team members. These workshops include introductory workshops on culture and the impact of privilege, oppression, racism, and unconscious bias on cross-cultural interactions among and between key stakeholders. In addition, we offer workshops including, but not limited to, cross-cultural communication, culturally and linguistically competent programs and services, gender and sexual diversity and inclusion, and trauma-informed approaches.

Reaching New Heights is our approach to building capacity at the systems level. One of the innovative aspects of our approach is the use of the Stages of Readiness to Change model — based on Prochaska and DiClemente’s Stages of Change Model — to guide organizations from assessment to concrete, sustainable actions. We use a readiness-to-change matrix that helps organizations group action steps by stages of readiness; identify short, intermediate and long-term action steps; and assess progress in meeting their goals.

Learn more about Reaching New Heights…

Reaching New Heights: Program Summary Reaching New Heights: Program Summary (289 KB)

The Impact

Our clients note the strength of our multi-disciplinary team approach and our strong understanding of issues, commitment and availability of staff.

We’ve had a couple of other starts and stops with other groups, but the authenticity
that comes from each and every Reaching New Heights staff was priceless.
They’re unapologetic about culture being broad,
without dismissing the importance of race and ethnicity.
Reaching New Heights is a brilliant choice.

As a result of our work together, our clients have:

  • Revised mission and values statements to include cultural proficiency
  • Developed a cultural proficiency statement and shared that statement with supporters and constituents
  • Dedicated part of a director’s position to implementation of cultural proficiency work
  • Integrated how they will address cultural proficiency in work plans
  • Integrated cultural proficiency into job announcements, job descriptions and interview processes
  • Developed the first written policy on professional development and continuing education
  • Included cultural proficiency in all training curricula
  • Changed policies to promote greater access and equity for clients