Creating Culturally Agile Working and Learning Spaces

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Trisha Dunham

As the world changes and evolves, so must our approaches to equity and inclusion. Traditional “diversity” workshops repeatedly teach how to profile groups of people and lack applicable skill building to increase engagement among individuals and groups.  The Center for Cultural Agility and our approach is designed for clients to focus on self and individual awareness; distinguishing our research, content, and delivery from other Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) providers for meaningful and sustainable outcomes. We have a national client base that includes for- and non-profit entities and organizations, leadership teams and boards, and one-one coaching, providing customized services aligned with client needs and desired change.

We define cultural agility as “the ability to be one’s authentic cultural self while encouraging others and honoring their authentic cultural selves”, underscoring that every individual is a unique cultural being that is a combination of identities, life experiences, funds of knowledge, group memberships, and more.  Our clients explore concepts related to cultural encapsulation, cultural engagement, personal and social identities, and communication preferences while learning how these things enhance or impede workplace interactions and productivity. Interactive engagement combined with research-based facilitated conversations are designed to encourage self-reflection and gain insight and perspective to enhance learning, leading to environments that are rooted in the universal design created for and by all.

The Center for Cultural Agility assists individuals with understanding and owning their perspectives, while also acknowledging how these perspectives impact interactions in the workplace. Our approach is to not tell clients what to think, but instead get them to understand and own why they think the way they do, explore how this thinking impacts interactions, and manifests in the workplace to either exceed or fail in stated missions, purposes, and output. Clients learn new ways of thinking, being, and doing to the extent they are committed to increasing connections and engagement and decreasing conflict and dissatisfaction.

Our workshops and consultation services are intentionally designed for all to participate and benefit regardless of personal and social identities that include but are not limited to gender, physical ability, phenotype, race, religion, sexual orientation, funds of knowledge and thoughts, socio-economic status, age, size, skin color, and numerous other variables that are often used to exclude. Systems and workplace cultures are established and maintained by individuals, so it is critical to explore individual perspectives to drive systemic change that is genuinely experienced by all who enter the space. Exploration, combined with applicable skill building, lead to culturally agile and engaged environments.

If you are interested in skill building to effectively interact with others with different appearances, abilities, beliefs, and thoughts while genuinely changing working and learning spaces to maximize authenticity, engagement, satisfaction, and productivity, please contact our multicultural team today to learn more about our workshops, consultation, auditing, and other services: https://thecenterforculturalagility.com/


Marcy L. Peake Bio:

Marcy L. Peake is the founder of The Center for Cultural Agility, published author, State of Michigan Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor, Certified Family Life Educator, and faculty member at Western Michigan University. She is a former elected official and has dedicated her career to public education, youth, family, and community service. Marcy approaches her work with the philosophy, “Everyone teaches and everyone learns” and facilitates workshops nationally; engaging with individuals from a variety of perspectives, identities, and interests. She is the author of the book, Please Understand, numerous published articles, and blog posts.



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