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About the Initiative

The Continuous Cultural Competence initiative aims to provide faculty and staff an opportunity to learn, reflect and apply information centered on one’s knowledge, skills and attitudes in the areas of intercultural intelligence, equity, diversity and inclusion. Continuing to grow in the area of intercultural competence is a life-long journey that requires critical reflection, a commitment to expand one's learning and intentionality in the application of the knowledge learned.

What is Intercultural Competence?

“Intercultural Competence is the ability to communicate and act appropriately, effectively and authentically across cultural difference. Effectively means we achieve the goals. Appropriately means we do so in a way in which all parties involved feel seen, heard and valued. And authentically refers to the ability to remain authentic to ourselves in the process. To not give up ourselves in the process of adapting.” (source: True North Intercultural) 


Participation in the Continuous Cultural Competence initiative is highly encouraged of all faculty and staff so that we may all contribute to a more inclusive UCO!

  1. Launch the UCO Learning Center and log in with your  UCO credentials.
  2. Select the Continuous Cultural Competence link near the top of the site.
  3. Choose to either launch the online option, or register to attend the in-person option of Engaging Across Difference at UCO.
  4. Continue your intercultural transformative learning journey. It is a lifelong process! Explore the following selection of recommended learning experiences, but don't limit yourself to just those. Any learning experience that meets one or more of the Continuous Cultural Competence learning objectives is a great option to build your intercultural capacity!
  5. We strongly encourage you to participate in multiple intercultural learning experiences throughout the year and have worked to reduce barriers to your participation. While you no longer need to record those additional learning experiences in the UCO Learning Center, we do recommend keeping track of them in a method that works best for you as you may with any other act of development.

Learning Experience Options

All of the below self-development offerings have been reviewed and selected based on their fulfillment of one or more of the Continuous Cultural Competence learning objectives.

Facilitated and Online Self-Paced Learning Options

All of the following learning experiences can be facilitated in-person or via Zoom. To request a session for your office, department or college, please contact Inclusive Community. If there is an online, self-paced format of the learning experience, the title of the offering will link to the online course.

  • Making Visible the Invisible - How do you define race? What does racism look like? Does racism still exist? The purpose of this learning experience is to answer these questions, while providing opportunities for self-reflection and a deeper understanding of our diverse and dynamic society. Upon completing this learning experience, you will be able to: 1) challenge common misconceptions regarding race and racism; 2) recognize the continued existence of racism in the form of systemic racism; and 3) understand how systemic racism perpetuates inequity.
  • Recognizing, Reducing and Responding to Microaggressions - Microaggressions have become a popular topic lately. But do we really understand what they are, why they might occur, the history behind some of them, and what we should do if we commit one? How do we know what is okay to say or do, and what might unintentionally demean or exclude someone? Work through this learning experience to learn the answers to these questions, plus what we can do to reduce our chances of perpetrating a microaggression. 
  • Operationalizing Equity at UCO - As an institution of higher education charged with serving the OKC metro area, it is our responsibility to prepare students to contribute to a global society. In order to do this successfully, we must ourselves embrace continuous learning in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice, and belonging. The purpose of this learning experience is to: 1) Define the terms inequity and equity, as they relate to diversity and inclusion; 2) Engage the learner in case studies designed to show equity in action; and 3) Prompt the learner to identify how they can advance equity.
  • Growing a Department With Equity-Mindedness & Inclusive Excellence - This guide will walk you through some proven strategies based on empirical evidence to help minimize barriers to hiring a diverse faculty through inclusive recruiting, screening, and selection. The focus cannot be on just increasing the number of faculty who identify with underrepresented or marginalized groups. We must focus on creating inclusive positions and cultures built on a foundation of collaborative learning, equity and human dignity... on recruiting individuals who will actively advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the institution by contributing their knowledge, ideas, and talents, and who are eager to try on new perspectives and learn from individuals different than themselves. A more diverse institution will be the outcome of this because a more diverse group of individuals will want to work in an institution like that. 
  • Authentically Engaging With UCO's Land Acknowledgement - This learning experience is for those interested in understanding the purpose of a Land Acknowledgement and how to use UCO's Land Acknowledgement in a variety of settings. Learners will discover what it looks like to move beyond simply reading a Land Acknowledgement, and into embodying its intent. By the end of this lesson, learners will be able to: Explain the purpose of a Land Acknowledgement; appropriately use the Land Acknowledgement in a variety of settings; identify the evidence of colonization and its impact on perpetuating inequity and exclusion; actively apply decolonization and Indigenization practices in the classroom and work place; and utilize the Land Acknowledgement as a transformative teaching and learning tool in the classroom.
  • Intercultural Development Inventory - You and your colleagues will have the chance to complete the IDI and engage in one-on-one and group debriefs. In the debrief, participants will learn what is meant by the terms culture and intercultural competence, identify their own intercultural competence developmental level, and explore how they can advance their intercultural competence level.
  • Dreamer Ally Training to support your undocumented students - contact Dr. Liliana Renteria Mendoza or Dr. Alyssa Provencia
  • SAFE Ally Training to support your 2SLGBTQIA+ students - contact Dr. Lindsey Churchill
  • Pronouns in the Classroom to support your understanding and inclusive use of student chosen pronouns - contact Dr. Leeda Copley or Dr. Shun Kiang

Recorded UCO Panels

  • Navigating Racial Trauma - In response to events in 2020, UCO's Office of Diversity and Inclusion (now known as the Inclusive Community- Student Hub) hosted a panel to discuss how best to navigate racial trauma. Listen to our esteemed panel of counselors and activist as they discuss the nuances of racial trauma and how to begin the healing process.
  • After the March: What's Next? - Demonstrations are only the beginning when working to confront institutionalized racism and inequality. UCO's Office of Diversity and Inclusion (now known as the Inclusive Community- Student Hub) assembled a panel of dynamic community activist who engaged in a thought-provoking discussion on what it truly takes to create lasting change beyond just the 'March for Justice.'
  • The Conversation: Stonewall, Civil Rights and Pride - The Office of Diversity and Inclusion (now known as the Inclusive Community- Student Hub) invited campus partners to come together to dive-deeper into the significance of the anniversary of the Stonewall rebellion, a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling on civil rights and the celebration of Pride month. The presentation also explored what the future looks like for LGBTQ+ faculty, staff and students.
  • How to Support Your Students During Social Unrest - UCO's Office of Diversity and Inclusion (now known as the Inclusive Community- Student Hub) engages in a conversation regarding how best to support your student during social unrest. At the end of this conversation, we provide a brief introduction to our SHARP framework designed to help advocates better engage with their students.
  • HomeIsHere: A Panel Discussion on DACA - In this timely discussion, the Office of Diversity  and Inclusion (now known as the Inclusive Community- Student Hub) hosts a panel of incredible individuals to discuss the impact of the SCOTUS decision regarding DACA and Dreamers.
  • Activism: The Student Perspective - Hear from UCO student leaders as they discuss Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and what it means to be an Activist during today's social climate.
  • Tulsa Race Massacre - Renowned historian, Mr. Hannibal B. Johnson provides insight into the events leading up to and after the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

Other Self-Development Resources

  • Harvard Implicit Bias Test - Test yourself on several implicit biases.  You can even elect to have your responses added to Harvard's ongoing research.
  • 10 Books About Race To Read Instead Of Asking A POC To Explain It To You
  • The Origin of Everything - Includes episodes specific to the origin or race, ethnicity, gender, reparations, culture, etc.
  • Intersexion - A documentary available online or through UCO's Max Chambers Library. Intersex individuals reveal the secrets of their unconventional lives – and how they have navigated their way through this strictly male/female world, when they fit somewhere in between.
  • Lead Me Home - A Netflix short documentary on life from the perspectives of a diverse group of individuals experiencing homelessness. 
  • Undocumented Americans - A short video on three undocumented youth who arrived as young children — Jong-Min, Pedro and Silvia — share their stories of how they are fighting hard to achieve their piece of the American dream.
  • Autism and Neurodiversity - In this Ted talk, Adriana discusses the idea of neurodiversity. Many people are labeled incorrectly because their brains are wired differently. Adriana offers awareness and an alternative way to see people as unique and valuable, regardless of their near-diversity.
  • The Disability Conversation - Ben Meyers shares his perspective on how physical disability is addressed in America.
  • Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution - A Netflix documentary about a groundbreaking summer camp that galvanizes a group of teens with disabilities to help build a movement, forging a new path toward greater equality. This film is rated R.
  • Deaf U - In this Netflix reality series, a tight-knit group of Deaf and hard of hearing students share their stories and explore life at Gallaudet University.
  • The 1619 Project - This Hulu series seeks to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.
  • An Indigenous People's History of the United States - Author Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz offers a history of the United States told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples and reveals how Native Americans, for centuries, actively resisted expansion of the US empire.
  • The Zinn Education Project - Website full of resources that share American history from non-Western, non-Eurocentric perspectives.
  • Seeing White - Why? Where did the notion of “whiteness” come from? What does it mean? What is whiteness for? Scene on Radio host and producer John Biewen took a deep dive into these questions, along with an array of leading scholars and regular guest Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika, in this fourteen-part documentary series

Diversity Calendar

Learning Objectives for Continuous Cultural Competence

Continuous Cultural Competence learning objectives address knowledge, skills and attitudes as they relate to intercultural competence, equity, diversity and inclusion.


Demonstration of awareness of one’s social identities and recognition of the complexities of those from different social identity groups.

  • Recognizes how one’s social identity group and experiences have shaped their world-view
  • Demonstrates insight into one’s biases
  • Demonstrates an understanding of the complexity of elements important and impactful to members of a differing social identity group
  • Defines diversity, inclusion, equity, power and privilege and how it is manifested at the University of Central Oklahoma


An ability and capacity acquired through deliberate, systematic and sustained effort to carry out complex functions involving ideas, things and/or people.

  • Creates a plan for engaging in relationships for reciprocal learning with individuals from differing social identity groups
  • Designs an approach for engaging in dialogue around diversity, inclusion, social justice and equity
  • Analyzes barriers faced by multiple social identity groups in various contexts and mitigate those barriers
  • Explains how listening, information-gathering and problem-solving skills support and foster partnerships and dialogue around diversity and inclusion


A settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something that can be reflected in a person’s behavior.

  • Initiates and develops interactions with individuals from different social identity groups.
  • Reflects on changes in behavior as a result of empathy and support with others from differing social identity groups
  • Explains your ability to listen and learn from alternative perspectives
  • Synthesizes multiple perspectives and comes to a shared solution
  • Reflects on how engaging in Continuous Cultural Competence has resulted in a shift in perspective in one’s life and work