Culturally Proficient Professionals

 

The East Baton Rouge Parish School System (EBRPSS) is a culturally proficient school district as evident by its policies, practices, values, and behaviors of individuals that enable the person, department or school to interact effectively in a culturally diverse environment

 

A culturally proficient professional in EBRPSS exhibits six essential elements:
  • Assesses culture. The culturally proficient professional is aware of his/her own culture and the effect it may have on the people in his/her work setting. He/She learns about the culture of the organization as well as the cultures of the clients, and anticipates how they will interact with, conflict with, or enhance one another.
  • Values diversity. A culturally proficient professional welcomes a diverse group of clients into the work settings and appreciates the challenges diversity brings. He/She shares this appreciation with other clients, developing a learning community with each client.
  • Manages the dynamics of difference. A culturally proficient professional recognizes that conflict is a normal and natural part of life. He/She should develop skills to manage conflict in a positive way. He/She also helps the clients to understand that what appear to be clashes in personalities may in fact be conflicts in culture.
  • Adapts to diversity. A culturally proficient professional commits to the continually learning that is necessary to deal with the issues caused by differences. He/She embraces the substance and structure of his work so that all of us are informed by the guiding principles of cultural proficiency.
  • Academic rigor. A culturally proficient educator will include curricular and pedagogical equity that will encourage students to accept culturally inclusive subject matter requiring high levels of cognition with bias-free assessments. Further, he/she will promote a positive and welcoming atmosphere responsive to cross-cultural communication skills with evidence of new knowledge gained from ethnic and gender studies.
  • Institutionalizes cultural knowledge. A culturally proficient professional continually works to influence the culture of his/her organization so that its policies and practices are informed by the guiding principles of cultural proficiency. He/She also takes advantage of teachable moments to share cultural knowledge about his/her colleagues, their managers, the clients, and the communities from which they come. He/She creates opportunities for these groups to learn about one another and to engage in ways that honor who they are and challenge them to be more.