Cultural Competency Found at Georgetown’s Leadership Institute

[clickToTweet tweet=”.@Georgetown Natl Cntr 4 Cultural Competence is accepting apps 4 its Leadership Academy, submit by 2/7″ quote=”.@Georgetown National Center 4 Cultural Competence is accepting applications 4 its Leadership Academy, submit by 2/7″]Guest Blogger, Natalie Holdren (Vice President, Cal-TASH)

Gtown LogoLast June, I had the honor and privilege of attending the Georgetown National Center for Cultural Competence’s Leadership Institute for Cultural Diversity and Cultural and Linguistic Competence – a catalyst for change in networks supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I know, it’s a mouthful).  As the Vice President of the California Chapter of TASH, I knew our organization was doing important work but I also knew that we were not reaching or representing all of the communities that make up this rich and diverse state in a meaningful way.  My hope in attending the Leadership Institute was to learn more about what it meant to be culturally competent and how this pertained to my leadership role within Cal-TASH.  What I actually gained from the experience, however, was so much more.  The Leadership Institute provided an experience where in addition to learning important content related to leadership and cultural competence, I also engaged in processes that helped me look at myself as a leader and what it means to really become an agent of change within an organization.  This includes access to an assessment tool that specifically identifies your leadership strengths and challenges and ongoing individual coaching sessions with the faculty to help you achieve your goals.

The program begins with preparatory activities that lead up to a powerful, intensive four-day experience in stunning Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Over the course of the four days, you engage in forums, peer group discussions, experiential activities, reflection, and individual coaching (the beautiful hotel and amazing cuisine weren’t bad either). Once you leave the institute you receive follow-up mentorship and coaching to help you move your goals forward.  I am excited to say that since attending the institute I have assembled the first Cal-TASH Committee for Cultural Competence, which in just a few months has already created two parent leader conference scholarships in an effort to 1) help spread the word about our work among historically underserved and underrepresented communities and 2) recruit a new and diverse membership to help us in this endeavor.  We are excited about our goals and action plans and I am energized to be a part of it. I have incredible gratitude to the Georgetown NCCC’s Leadership Institute and I recommend the experience to anyone interested in this work.  Applications to participate in this year’s institute are due Sunday, February 7th and scholarships are available!  Learn more and apply here.