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DEI Read & Learn

Resources for learning more about diversity, equity & inclusion topics, from the library's DEI Committee

My Culture Is Not a Costume

From Teen Vogue, Oct. 25, 2017.  See also the companion article linked below.


Quick tips:

  • Continue learning! Read some of the selections here. Find ISU workshops to attend. LinkedIn Learning has a number of relevant DEI tutorials, particularly for managers and supervisors. Attend a lecture - the ISU Lectures program regularly features DEI topics.
  • Reflect on how becoming more culturally competent applies to your workplace. (If you think it doesn't apply, think again.) Discuss with your colleagues and supervisor.
  • Not sure how to pronounce someone's name? Ask them, politely. Practice saying it, and ask if you've gotten it right. Don't shorten or change their name to make things easier for yourself. 
  • Not sure what someone said because of their accent? Ask them to repeat, politely. Realize that you too have an accent to them.
  • Not sure about someone's pronouns? Ask them, politely. When you find out, use those pronouns.
  • Not sure where to find more information? It's okay not to know and to ask for help, especially after you've made a sincere effort to find information on your own.
    • Don't expect others to do your work for you.
    • Realize that people of color and other underrepresented minority people are often besieged to explain or teach others, which pushes your work onto them.
    • Don't expect or demand people of color or people from underrepresented minorities do this work for you.

Learn more about Cultural Competence

"Cultural competence is the ability to shift cultural perspective and adapt one’s behavior to cultural similarities and differences. Simply put, it means recognizing that you have a culture and that this culture impacts your worldview. After this realization, you must learn to see events from the perspective of those that are different than you." 

- Source: Cultural Competency: Why It Matters, DeEtta Jones & Associates


This page includes selected readings for learning more about cultural competence issues.  Let us know if you have suggestions for additional resources!

Selected Readings on Building Cultural Competence

Here are just a few selected titles on cultural competence. You can find many more on specific topics using Quick Search and of course Google.

Articles & Blog Posts on Cultural Competence