CSPH 5000-003 - Developing Capacity in Cross-Cultural Engagement
This course takes a constructivist, experiential approach in developing cross-cultural engagement capacity within communities experiencing health inequities. Students will receive an individualized assessment, action plan, guidance and supportive theory along with direct experience and practice within a Twin-Cities community context. The goal is to develop capacity for critical self-reflection, cultural self-awareness, intercultural sensitivity and the ability to adapt more effectively to culturally different contexts. Academic training in many disciplines can leave its professionals holding so tightly to Eurocentric/scientific mental models that the intellectual openness and empathy needed for effective intercultural interaction is often compromised. Recent research points to cultural misunderstandings and miscommunication as significant contributors to health and education inequities. This course takes a constructivist approach toward developing your intercultural capacity. Here you will gain direct experience in cross-cultural engagement within a cultural community experiencing health inequities, along with individualized guidance and supportive theory. The course is designed to develop your capacity for critical self-reflection, cultural self-awareness, intercultural sensitivity and the ability to adapt to culturally different frames through which the world is perceived, organized and experienced. In addition to on campus meetings, students will spend some class hours practicing at The Minneapolis American Indian Center (MAIC), 1530 East Franklin Avenue. Your goal is to build positive working relationships and partnership with the community as you assist the MAIC with its agenda and tasks.