257137 Addressing the socio-cultural complexity in cultural competence: Applying public health critical race praxis (PHCR) and cultural humility

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 10:50 AM - 11:10 AM

Shireen Rajaram, PhD , Department of Health Promotion and Social and Behavioral Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health, Omaha, NE
Susan Bockrath, MPH, CHES , Department of Health Promotion, Social and Behavioral Health, UNMC College of Public Health, Lincoln, NE
Cultural competence is conceptualized as one of the keys to addressing health disparities and building health equity in public health and health care. However, a growing body of literature underscores the relationship between structural factors and health inequities. To better address disparities tied to race and racism, public health practitioners and researchers must expand traditional conceptualizations of cultural competence. Frameworks that focus on individual acquisition of a finite body of knowledge, skills and attitudes are not adequate to the task of understanding and critiquing the underlying social, political, and economic processes of power, privilege, and institutional racism that create, support, and maintain existing health disparities. In this session we will discuss the potential of two frameworks to extend and enrich the concept of cultural competence — (1) Public Health Critical Race praxis, an activist theoretical framework to conceptualize and address the racial inequities that lead to health disparities (Ford and Airhihenbuwa, 2010), and (2) cultural humility (Tervalon and Murray-Garcia, 1998), an application of sustained self-reflection and self-critique that allows for reflective inquiry of one's social location in systems of privilege and oppression. We will outline how key principals in these frameworks can work together to produce a robust public health practice and research agenda that better address the impact of structural inequities on health disparities.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
At the end of this session, participants will be able to: Describe socio-structural barriers, including racism, to actualizing cultural competence. Describe components of public health critical race praxis (PHCR) and cultural humility (CH) and the role of those components in cultural competence.

Keywords: Cultural Competency, Social Inequalities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Shireen Rajaram, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Promotion, Social and Behavioral Health in the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). She is the former Director of UNMC’s Center for Reducing Health Disparities. She is the campus leader on the Cultural Competency initiative, and in 2010, launched the online Cultural Competency Training module at UNMC which is part of the yearly, campus-wide compliance requirements.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.