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Cultural Competency’s Role Toward Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Goals


Tuesday, April 30, 2024
1 – 2 p.m. CDT
Cost: Free

Cultural Competency is the ability to function with awareness, knowledge, and interpersonal skill when engaging people of different backgrounds, assumptions, beliefs, values, and behaviors. This session will challenge you to examine personal perceptions that might surprise you and introduce strategies that will increase your awareness, values, and behaviors to increase DEIA.  Three skills required to apply Cultural Competency and the four stages individuals and organizations can implement to improve relations with internal and external communities. 

Note: An ASL Interpreter and Certified Deaf Interpreter will be present for this webinar.

Learning Outcomes

  • Define Cultural Competency (CC) and how its integration at three levels is required to be successful
  • Examine critically your interaction with people of different cultures, not limited to ethnicity
  • Identify the six stages and where you and your organization are on the continuum of CC
  • Practice three important skills to employ CC
  • Combine cultural-mindedness with culturally centered communication skills for effective relationships with all people forming the basis for culturally competent organizations, communities and societies

Who Should Attend

Administration, public and technical services staff and professionals who provide any type of information services


Helen Wong Smith, Certified Archivist for University Records at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, has over 35 years experience in historical repositories in Hawaiʻi. A B.A. in Hawaiian Studies and MLIS from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, she has held numerous positions including Hawaiian Collection Librarian at University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, Executive Director of the Kauaʻi Historical Society, Lead Archivist for the Pacific Island Network of the National Park Service, and Librarian/Archivist for the State Historic Preservation Division.  Elected President of Hawaiian Library Association (1997-98), Hawaiian Historical Society (2013-14) and twice of the Association of Hawaiʻi Archivists (2000-01, 2007-08), she was named a Distinguished Fellow of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) in 2016 and became their 78th President in July 2023.

Since delivering a plenary address “Adopting Cultural Diversity Competence” at SAAʻs 2015 Annual Meeting Helen has been sharing how cultural competency can advance cultural heritage professions training libraries and organizations i.e. Harvard and Simmons University, SAA, Hawaiʻi Museum Association, Museum Study, Black Metropolis Research Consortium (Chicago), and the Council of State Archives, who awarded her the President’s Award for Excellence in 2022.  She and Dr. Rebecca Hankins successfully proposed cultural competency as a new domain to the Academy of Certified Archivist and she co-chaired the Task Force to establish the knowledge statements and recommended readings to prepare for this domain.  

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