Chapter 9. Understanding Civility and Cultural Competence

Where do you go from here?

This chapter touched on many elements of civility and diversity, and mentioned a wide array of groups, identities, and populations. But the chapter certainly did not explore every concept or reflect every group you may encounter. In a similar way, you can’t know everything about everyone, but you can build cultural competency and understanding to make people feel included and deepen your abilities and relationships.

Sometimes learning about one group or making one person feel comfortable can be as important as addressing a larger population. To that end, consider researching or discussing one of the following topics to increase your level of civility and understanding:

  • Appropriate terminology and ways to address members of certain populations. For example, ways to properly describe people with certain disabilities, or discuss issues around racial or gender identity.
  • Discussions or debates related to civility and intersectionality, such as whether “Latinx” should be used instead of “Latino/Latina,” or whether certain sports team mascots can be considered offensive.
  • Major historical figures or events related to a certain group.
  • Academic majors and research centers/groups related to aspects of diversity.
  • Historical events at your college or in your city related to civil rights.


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