Cultural Humility is a concept that emerged in contrast to cultural competence. Whereas cultural competence can sometimes refer to expertise, cultural humility is focused on listening, understanding, receiving, and giving of yourself. These are powerful concepts and a significant re-framing of intercultural communication. Emerging from social work, nursing, and healthcare, cultural humility focuses on giving care to others while being humble and receptive of difference. 

San Francisco State University Associate Professor of Health Education Vivian Chavez, physician and consultant Melanie Tervalon, and UC Davis nursing professor Jann Murray-GarcĂ­a describe the three core commitments of cultural humility as:

  • Lifelong learning and critical self-reflection
  • Recognizing and challenging power imbalances for successful partnerships
  • Institutional accountability

This 7-minute video describes the theory and practice of Cultural Humility:

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