Intercultural Foundations

 
Intercultural Foundations assesses intercultural competency with individuals and groups, and equips our communities with understanding and skills to bridge the gap between diversity and inclusion.
 
We believe that intercultural competence is essential to navigating a path toward greater understanding, effectiveness, inclusion, and equity.
 

Why is Intercultural Competence important?

 

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that rural Washington communities, from Grays Harbor County to Spokane Valley and everywhere in between, are diversifying in population. This demographic trend is happening everywhere in America.

In Washington State, Thurston County has experienced the third highest increase of diversity since 2010.

Intercultural competence is the ability to shift perspective and appropriately adapt behavior to cultural differences and commonalities. As the US population and workforce continue to transform, the need to develop our intercultural competence skills increases. It is critical to understanding and working with people of different backgrounds and social identities.

Future Work Skills 2020 ranks Cultural Competency as #4 of the top 10 skills needed for every sector to be successful in the future.

As society rapidly transforms, there are important questions we must ask:

  • How do monocultural environments impact our learning and work spaces?

 

  • What are the costs of monocultural environments in an increasingly multicultural world?

 

A monocultural environment is the opposite of an inclusive, multicultural space. Monocultural environments are structurally exclusionary. Some are intentionally built this way (for example, male-only or white-only groups.) However, like explicit bias, implicit bias has also contributed to countless (and often unintentional) monocultural spaces that exist today. These biases are attitudes that are at our unconscious level, are usually involuntarily formed, and are typically unknown to us. 

 

 

Challenging these assumptions and practices is key to eliminating structural inequalities, and ensuring equal outcomes for those working and served in sectors of government, health, education, social services, criminal justice, business, and more. Differences like race and gender, and how those differences are navigated, are driving forces in determining outcomes in all sectors. Diversity and inclusion are among the most important predictors of profits, market share and employee retention.

                                                                        

   

 

Intercultural Foundations assesses the intercultural competence of indivuals and groups, and equips them with tools to bridge the gap between diversity and inclusion. We believe that intercultural competence is essential to navigating a path toward greater understanding, effectiveness, equity and inclusion.  

 

We provide the following services and resources for businesses, non-profits, school districts, state and local government, and beyond: 

  • Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) Pre and Post Assessment 
  • Intercultural Competency Development / Training 
  • Consulting / Resources and Supportive Services

 

YWCA of Olympia Racial Justice Overview & History:

At the core of the YWCA’s work is the recognition that not all women, or all people, are treated equally. The common thread that unites YWCAs across the country is a commitment to racial justice and civil rights.

If you are interested in an Intercultural Development Assessment, contact Lanessa Inman, (360) 352-0593 / linman@ywcaofolympia.org