Cultural Proficiency is about recognizing the importance and value of living in a diverse community and, even more critically, it is about being an organization that is committed to affirming the worth of individuals, families, and communities. True excellence in our organization results from identifying, serving, and enlisting the participation of all people in this community. To be culturally proficient we must always work to understanding past influences and recognize current trends. Our culture has seen its share of racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, transphobia, ablism, ageism, and other oppressions. People have been marginalized and mistreated.
So every day at HopeWorks we challenge the use of derogatory, stereotypical and other hurtful characterizations just as we challenge the use of violence. We work to continually assess our progress in fostering an environment where everyone is respected, welcomed, and appreciated. Furthermore, we believe in the accessibility and affordability of services for all people impacted by sexual assault and domestic violence. We do no discriminate and we recruit staff, board members, and volunteers who represent and value diverse populations. At the most basic, Cultural Proficiency is the capacity for an individual, an organization or an institution to respond effectively to the unique needs of people who differ from them. It is a fluid, life-long, and developmental process which involves an individual’s and organization’s ability to think, feel, and act in ways that acknowledge, respect, and build ethnic, socio-cultural, and linguistic diversity, allowing people to work efficiently cross-culturally.