CAN CULTURAL COMPETENCE BE ACHIEVED WITHOUT ATTENDING TO RACISM?
AbstractIssues in Mental Health Nursing, 28:1341â1344, 2007 Copyright c Informa Healthcare USA, Inc. ISSN: 0161-2840 print / 1096-4673 online DOI: 10.1080/01612840701686518 CULTURAL COMPETENCE COLUMN CAN CULTURAL COMPETENCE BE ACHIEVED WITHOUT ATTENDING TO RACISM? Sheryl Y. Tyson, PhD, ARNP, CNS Department of Psychosocial and Community Health Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA An informative deï¬nition of cultural competence provides direction on how it can be achieved and articulates the skills, attitudes, and values that are needed in the areas of cultural knowledge, sensitivity, and collaboration with the community to be served. Attaining cultural competence can be instrumental in reducing health disparities (Flaskerud, 2007). Given this, the uncomfortable question that must now be asked isâ Can cultural competence be achieved without focusing speciï¬cally on racism and the related issue of white privilege? Although racism is not conï¬ned to white people, and racist attitudes are found among members of ethnic minority groups, it is increasingly recognized that our dominant social structures and systems, including health care, occur within the context of historical (Davis, 2006) and contemporary (Gaertner & Dovidio, 2005) institutionalized racism. Institutional racism can be deï¬ned as differential levels of access to societal goods and services that are based