Last month we celebrated the tenth anniversary of the formation of the Cultural Competence Committee with a PRA seminar, “Cultural Competence at PRA: How Are We Doing?” In addition to providing a concise overview of the Committee’s formation and history, and reviewing past activities and the CC intranet page, we reviewed a list of the many “diversity boards” posted over the past ten years on a wide range of topics – from “Hearing Loss” and “National Coming Out Day” to “Islam” and “Get on the Bus! Civil Rights Bus Tour.” We talked about some of our favorite films, like Ears: Open; Eyeballs: Click, a military documentary brought to life by two employees who went through the Marine boot camp experience depicted in the film; and our presentation of Neshoba: The Price of Freedom, introduced with a live performance by local musician and civil rights educator Reggie Harris, whose work is featured in the movie.
The best part of the seminar in my view, however, was the Q&A/idea sharing that followed. Asked again “How Are We Doing?,” staff provided some great feedback, both positive and negative. We can do better at sharing videos and other materials with our remote employees. We can communicate our community service activities (shelter breakfasts and dinners, clothing drives, etc.) more vigorously. We can consider repeating some of the earlier seminars and videos that were especially good. (Staff favorites include Amy Long’s Hearing Voices that are Distressing seminar and Darby Penney’s presentation of The Lives They Left Behind.