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Cultural Competency & Intelligence

Looking to increase your intercultural knowledge and competency? Here are some resources!

Strategies for Increasing Intercultural Competence

  • expand your social circle to include people of different backgrounds and identities, get to know them as individuals and allow your authentic relationships with them to broaden your knowledge and points of view;
  • engage in intentional, honest and thoughtful conversations across difference: discuss religion, sexuality, gender, race, nationality, ability, etc. with people who have different identities, experiences, perspectives, values and beliefs than you while listening with the intent of understanding (rather than for points to disagree with) and speaking with the intent of sharing (rather than to convince or persuade);
  • read a wide range of news sources to better understand current social issues while paying attention to the credibility of each source and what kind of slant or bias it tends to have;
  • resist confirmation bias by critically reflecting on information that both aligns with and challenges what you already know or believe about a subject (i.e., approach all information with a desire to learn more and analyze all perspectives rather than to have your current viewpoint affirmed or validated);
  • explore the relevant history of current social issues in order to learn the context and factors that created those issues and what needs to be considered to address those issues (for example, when reading a news story about the achievement gap in schools or about under-performing school districts, read up on the history of segregation, “separate but equal” and the disparity in resources, conditions and funding among schools);
  • take advantage of learning opportunities on campus and in the local community by attending lectures, documentary film screenings, panel discussions or cultural heritage events;
  • commit to intentionally increasing your awareness, knowledge and skills related to diversity, inclusion, equity and social justice by attending one of the many workshops offered on campus.

From: Cultural Competence Toolkit, North Carolina State University Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity,