Cultural Humility

Cultural humility is one way in which we can consider how each of us can be inclusive members of our USF community, both in the classroom and outside of it. 

Cultural humility is a concept coined and developed by Dr. Melanie Tervalon and Dr. Jann Murray-Garcia rooted in their experiences as practitioners in the medical field in the 1990s. Cultural humility as a practice stresses a commitment to lifelong learning and self-critique that aims to correct power imbalances inherent in structured, institutionalized relationships (such as the patient-physician relationship in medicine). Cultural humility is an important and applicable concept within education as well, recognizing that similar power imbalances can exist in the classroom and activities outside the classroom, and, more broadly, within the structures of colleges and universities.

Some might be more familiar with the concept of cultural competence, which encourages being aware of one’s personal worldview, building knowledge and understanding of different cultural practices and world views, and developing skills for cross-cultural communication. Cultural humility deepens the intentions of cultural competence by encouraging an open, other-oriented approach when engaging with people. Its emphasis on lifelong learning pushes beyond a set of knowledge and/or skills that can be acquired through limited training and considers day-to-day interactions as a space where learning and growth can happen as well. 

Additional Resources to learn more about cultural humility: