Cultural Competency and Bias: Raising Self-Awereness


Interpreters and educators do not practice in a vacuum. They bring to their work personal experiences, values, and biases. Interpreters and educators also work for an agency and a public with their own values and biases. By becoming more critically self-aware, interpreters and educators can develop a range of more inclusive, inviting, and accurate interpretive opportunities through personal services and media products.

Any external change begins with self-consciousness and awareness. Therefore, interpreters and educators must confront and uncover their own assumptions and biases. In doing so, interpreters and educators build a foundation of self-knowledge to help others examine the role and impact of biases.

This resource was created from the Managing Curriculum-based Education Programs and Services course and, when offered, is an online course.

In this resource, you’ll find a list of short videos and articles, guiding questions, and additional resources. It will take approximately 45 minutes to complete.

How to use this resource:

  • Complete the following activity.
  • Review and use the Additional Resources at the bottom.
  • Leave a review (how useful was this resource?).
  • Join our group in the CLP Commons.


Guiding Questions

  • How does your team talk about bias and difference?
  • How does your park facilitate conversations about difference with visitors (specifically students)?
  • What are your current challenges regarding cultural competency? How are you successful?

Additional Resources

Write a Review

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  3. Personally, I think self-awareness and bias is just as important as technique and approach if not more so.

    I used Dushaw Hockett’s video last year in training and will likely use it again. The Ted Talk Are you biased? I am by Kristen Pressner is also a good one; her flip it to test it approach is worth trying. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bq_xYSOZrgU

    I found the Project Implicit AIT tests to be a bit too simplistic, understating the importance of the issue and glossing over subtleties. Looking for more, more in the realm of self-awareness vs bias I came across an older Ted Talk, The moral roots of liberals and conservatives by Jonathan Haidt. Don’t let the hint of politics deter you https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SOQduoLgRw.

    The associated website has more tests to help you explore your morality https://www.yourmorals.org/explore.php

    To bring this all together with our profession, I also came across a test and information on a concept that was new to me this year, Social Vigilantism. But… I didn’t save the links and cannot find them again. If anyone else knows what I’m talking about I’d love to find those resources again.

  4. Looking forward to learning how to use these with staff.
    I dont like the project implicit bias. Takes a hand, eye, brain coordination that gets all mixed up in my brain. I came out with different results with in the same test. I have taken these before and didnt like it. Are there any other “tests” that dont require you to coordinate your hands with your thoughts?

  5. This is a great list of resources! Looking forward to dive into these topics a bit more. I’m specifically curious about some techniques to use when talking to the team about cultural competency and biases, and how to approach this in a professional setting.


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  7. Great videos and powerfully important topic. Everyone holds bias and each of us are both perpetrators and victims of it, whether we know that or not. I just finished Malcom Gladwell’s Blink and was captivated by his findings. It would be great is this could get into the school system and be made aware to all young people. How do we, as NPS staff, incorporate this into our work with the public? I hope to learn more about how we might participate.

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  9. We should be talking about these challenging topics as educators and as parks. I appreciated being able to explore these resources and my own implicit biases. I especially want to know more about how to approach this topic as a parent with my kids. How do we engage kids in a thoughtful and appropriate way to reflect on their own implicit biases? How do we raise kids to not have implicit biases? Is it possible?

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  11. I really enjoyed the Cheerios commercial – that was a great resource to get the “wheels turning” for this class. The bias tests and article were good too, but didn’t do that much for me; they oversimplified the information. Looking forward to learning more in the class!


  12. The “bias quiz” was a bit much as Lee Snook indicated. For me, it was much less of a bias exercise and more of a hand-eye coordination exercise. I am, however, looking forward to learning more in the webinar tomorrow!


  13. We have been actively engaging in “Diversity Training” over the last two years. I have witnessed all the reactions the article “Two Types of Diversity Training” mentioned-for some it’s effective, for others not and for others they have retaliated. I have become more and more convinced that there are some people who will face significant challenges to being self-aware. I will definitely use some of the suggetions in the article and some of the videos and resources posted here in our seasonal training. Thank you!


  14. Not sure where this activity is to be submitted, so I’ll leave it here 🙂

    In your own words, define cultural competency, diversity, and inclusion.

    Cultural Competency – The ability to interact with people across cultures by cultivating positive attitudes about cultural differences, and continual learn about different world perspectives.

    Diversity – Variety is the spice of life! Different cultures, looks, backgrounds, families, perspectives, skills, gender, race, ethnicity, learning styles, etc.

    Inclusion – Embrace that diversity, develop cultural competency and create an inviting environment for all people!

  15. I really enjoyed reading the Harvard Business Review article about diversity training. Having participated in many in the past, I enjoyed seeing the studies about the subject of training itself.

    I am looking forward to diving deeper in these topics!


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  17. Useful in taking the implicit bias tests to see where unconscious bias lies and looking forward to digging deeper to see ways of addressing this and how to engage the public in this discussion.

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