Cultural Competence Institute

The Cultural Competence Institute at Grand Rapids Community College is a fee-based training model that offers participants practical skills and evidence-based best practices and strategies. The institute curriculum focuses on how to implement organizational change in environments where conscious or non-conscious cognitive behaviors influence prejudice and discrimination. Institute faculty are trained scholar-practitioners with contributions that shape and influence their field of study. A mandatory prerequisite for enrollment in CCI courses includes, but is not limited to Intergroup Dialogue training, Institute for Healing Racism training, or Cultural Intelligence training.

According to Cross et al., 1989, cultural competence requires that organizations:

  • Have a defined set of values and principles, and demonstrate behaviors, attitudes, policies, and structures that enable them to work effectively cross-culturally.
  • Have the capacity to (1) value diversity, (2) conduct self-assessment, (3) manage the dynamics of difference, (4) acquire and institutionalize cultural knowledge, and (5) adapt to diversity and the cultural contexts of communities they serve.
  • Incorporate the above in all aspects of policy-making, administration, practice, service delivery, and systematically involve consumers (stakeholders), families, and communities.

Citation: Cross, T., Bazron, B., Dennis, K., & Isaacs, M., (1989). Towards A Culturally Competent System of Care, Volume I. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Child Development Center, CASSP Technical Assistance Center.


2019 Cultural Competence Institute
Friday, September 27
9:00 am to 4 pm

Grand Rapids Community College

Bandwidth Recovery: Helping Students Reclaim Cognitive Resources Lost to Poverty, Racism, and other Social Marginalization (or “Differentisms”)

For many students, the cognitive resources needed for learning are diminished by the harmful effects of persistent economic insecurity, discrimination, and hostility against non-majority groups based on race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity, and other aspects of difference. When we recognize that these students are no different than their peers in terms of cognitive capacity, we can implement strategies and interventions, in and outside the classroom, that show promise in helping students regain the cognitive resources to be successful in school.

In this session, participants will understand that:

  • Scarcity steals mental bandwidth  
  • Multitasking isn’t a thing: attentional resources.
  • Persistent economic insecurity-scarcity depletes mental bandwidth.
  • There are many other kinds of scarcity - respect, dignity, safety, belonging, etc.
  • Psycho-social underminers, including stereotype/identity threat, belongingness uncertainty, microaggressions, vicarious racism, and adverse childhood experiences, result in diminished bandwidth for our students.

A prerequisite for enrollment in the CCI course includes, but is not limited to Intergroup Dialogue training, Institute for Healing Racism training, or Cultural Intelligence training. Seating is limited.