What is Intercultural Competence and Why Does it Matter?

In a recent interview with Sr. Ruth Bolarte, IHM, facilitator of our upcoming workshop on April 25th, she shared the what and why of Intercultural Competence.

What is intercultural competence and why is it important now?
Intercultural competency is the capacity to communicate, relate, and work across cultural boundaries.  It involves developing capacity in three areas:  knowledge, skills, and attitudes.  It is important now because of the demographic transformation that has been taking place in the United States.

Why does it matter for churches and people of faith?
Cultural diversity is integral to the Church’s very identity and mission.  The focus on cultural diversity is grounded on the need to grow in knowledge and develop appropriate attitudes and skills for the purpose of carrying the Church’s mission of evangelizing.

What are some of the problems associated with not having these skills?
Some of us may have had opportunities to encounter cultural diversity through our work, ministry or circumstances in our lives.  Thus, in some ways we may have had to develop intercultural sensitivity and various perspectives of life.  Problems may occur when only when try to see life through one set of cultural lenses—more of “one size fits all” approach.
How can intercultural competence reduce conflict and misunderstanding?
Intercultural competence provides the tools to recognize our own “cultural lenses” and try to see through various cultural perspectives  as we strive to respect each cultural group.

What should participants expect from the workshop on April 25th?
This will be an opportunity to have an overview of the major areas we need to have in mind as we try to develop trust and mutuality among all cultural groups.

To register, click on this link and complete the form.

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