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Week 6: Committing to Continued Growth

Cultural humility has no end point. You won’t ever get a certificate that says you have done it or be able to cross it off a to-do list. Rather than something to achieve, cultural humility is a way of existing in the world. So, while this course has an end, your work does not.

A personal pursuit to diversify your relationships and surroundings, and remain open to and curious about others, may seem daunting or even uncomfortable at first. But it also broadens your understanding and exposes you to new experiences and perspectives that will only enrich your life and work.

This week, you commit to cultural humility and consider how you will continue your growth after the course. 

Learning Objectives

Students will:

· Explain shifts in perspective and/or thinking based on the course and course resources

· Prepare plans for continued development of cultural humility

· Explain methods for addressing internal and external barriers to continued growth in cultural humility 

Learning Resources

Cultural Humility

Chávez, V. [Vivian Chavez]. (2012, August 9). Cultural humility (complete) [Video].

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 30 minutes. 

Gallardo, M. (Host). (2020, February 26). What does it mean to be culturally humble? (No. 14) [Audio podcast episode]. In Cultural humility podcast.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 66 minutes. 

Document: Podcast Transcript (PDF)

Note: Review this written transcript as an alternative to listening to the “What Does It Mean to Be Culturally Humble?” podcast episode.

Document: Recommended Books, Films, and Podcasts (PDF)

Discussion: Course Resource Reflection

Across history, books and films have led to both personal and societal change. Books like Uncle Tom’s Cabin made slavery’s horrors real and immediate to its readers, and The Jungle raised the public’s awareness of working conditions in the nation’s slaughterhouses. Over the length of this course, you have explored many different readings, talks, videos, and worksheets. Which ones raised awareness and stirred change in you?

In this Discussion, you describe resources from the course that presented new ideas or concepts and affected you in a lasting way. 

To Prepare

· Review your course announcements for possible information related to this week’s Discussion and Assignment.

· Revisit all the Learning Resources provided throughout the course. If you did not previously have time to read or view a resource, do so now.

By Day 4

Select at least two required course resources that had the most impact on your thinking and explain why and in what way they affected you. What 1–2 quotes or concepts from these resources really resonated, challenged you, and/or shifted your perspective?

By Day 6

Respond to at least one colleague by explaining how the same resource(s) they mentioned in their post affected you. You may also recommend added resources found in this week’s “Recommended Books, Films, and Podcasts” or elsewhere, explaining how they might be helpful. 

Submission and Grading Information
Grading Criteria

Reflective Assignment: Your Culturally Humble Path

This course has largely been focused on self-reflection and self-analysis—a “pause” button in the movie of your life where you have stopped and then rewound to revisit your earliest days. This pause has been intentional in helping to clarify your understanding of your own culture—including the values and beliefs you were socialized into—and how that culture colors and shapes your interactions with others, even now. The course has also been foundational in nature, with the expectation that you will continue to pursue self-awareness and humility in your cross-cultural relationships long after.

Before you hit “play” again, you have an opportunity to fast-forward to the future. In this Assignment, you envision your “culturally humble path” and what barriers you may face. 

To Prepare

· Review the Learning Resources on cultural humility.

· Reflect on the strides that you have made in this course in understanding and applying the tenets of cultural humility.

· Consider more strides that you would like to make in your professional life related to working with and advocating for diverse populations. What external and internal barriers might you face in this work?

By Day 7

Submit a 1- to 2-page critical reflection in which you describe how you envision yourself working with and advocating for diverse populations using cultural humility. Be specific. Please include:

· The external barriers to continuing to develop your cultural humility (e.g., institutional policies or procedures, funding, language differences, skeptical attitudes from others concerning your motives) and how you might address them.

· The internal/personal barriers to continuing to develop your cultural humility (e.g., fear, lack of confidence, time pressures) and how you might address them.

Please make liberal use of the Learning Resources to enrich your reflection.

Note: When formulating your plans for continued development, consider that the history of dominant/nondominant interactions is full of examples where dominant group members seek firsthand contact and information from nondominant members, only to use that information to co-opt and/or exploit them. This being the case, please do not assume that your presence will be automatically welcomed within nondominant circles. 


© 2020 Walden University

Cultural Humility and Diversity

Recommended Books, Films, and Podcasts

Coates, T. (2015). Between the world and me. Spiegel & Grau.

Collins, D. (Executive Producer). (2018–present). Queer eye [Television series]. Netflix.

DiAngelo, R. (2018). White fragility: Why it’s so hard for White people to talk about

racism. Beacon Press.

Gay, R. (2014). Bad feminist: Essays. Harper Perennial.

LeBrecht, J., & Newnham, N. (Directors). (2020). Crip camp: A disability revolution

[Documentary film]. Netflix.

Lubrano, A. (2005). Limbo: Blue-collar roots, white-collar dreams. Wiley.

Margiotta, B. (Host). (2019, August 6). Creating inclusion where it’s least likely to be

found with Nina Simon, founder of Of, by, for all (No. 4) [Audio podcast episode].

In Unleashing Social Change.




National Public Radio. (2016–present). Code switch [Podcast].

Nava, G. (Director). (1983). El Norte [Film]. Public Broadcasting Service.

Nieto, L. (2010). Beyond inclusion, beyond empowerment: A developmental strategy to

liberate everyone. Cuetzpalin.

Wah, L. M. (Director). (1994). The color of fear [Documentary film]. Stir-Fry Productions.


© 2020 Walden University

Walker, M. (1989). For my people.

What Does it Mean to be Culturally Humble?


What Does it Mean to be Culturally Humble?
Program Transcript


MIGUEL GALLARDO: Welcome to the Cultural Humility Podcast. I’m your host, Miguel
Gallardo, and today I am joined by Dr. Vivian Chavez. Vivian, thank you so much for
joining me today and taking time to speak with me about cultural humility, which is so
important today. So thank you.

VIVIAN CHAVEZ: Thank you for having me.


VIVIAN CHAVEZ: Happy to be on the show.

MIGUEL GALLARDO: Thank you so much. Well, let me give folks just a little bit of
insight into who you are and just the work that you do just give them some context.
Vivian Chavez is an associate professor at San Francisco State University in the
Department of Health education. She has an eclectic background in violence
prevention, expressive arts, and community organizing.

Her courses infuse a global dimension to health education and focus on solutions,
resiliency, and common values. A storyteller by nature, she has developed a teaching
approach to heal the mind-body divide, characteristic of higher education, and
collaborated with community-based organizations to disseminate their work. She co-
edited Primary Prevention, Strategies in Community Being, co-authored Drop that
Knowledge, Youth Radio Stories, and translated Media’s Advocacy into Spanish for
culturally-appropriate and community-accessible terminology.

Her latest project, Cultural Humility– People, Principles, and Practices is a film that
mixes poetry with music, interviews, archival footage, and images of nature to describe
what cultural humility is and why it’s needed to create a broader, more inclusive view of
the world. And based on all that, I’m excited to hear about how you see cultural humility
in action today and what’s happening the world, so I’m looking forward to our

So Vivian, I’ve asked almost all my– the folks that I’ve interviewed on my podcast to
really just– as we think about this notion of cultural humility– and this is really the first
podcast that I’m doing that’s addressing this notion of cultural humility specifically– I’ve
asked all my interviewees to give me their understanding analysis, just how they make
sense of what’s happening in the current state of affairs in the United States today.

As you think about where we are, how did we find ourselves here? How do we get out
of it? How do you make sense of it– just any thoughts you have about it. We’re in a
tough time right now, and people are being dehumanized. And certainly, when I think

What Does it Mean to be Culturally Humble?


about this notion of culture humility, I think about quite the opposite of that, and so– just
wondering, what’s your view and take on all this that’s happening right now?

VIVIAN CHAVEZ: I really like that question, because just like it’s a very tough time, it’s
also a opportunity. We have been called to wake up, and so right away, some of us
would say that we were awake already–


VIVIAN CHAVEZ: We knew how much problems there are in society. We know our
history of this country, the roots of violence and oppression. But at least I’m going to
speak for myself. I was beginning to become comfortable in an environment where the
president of the United States was being a community organizer.

So, I’ve been teaching community organizing at San Francisco State, now going on
almost 20 years. And halfway through, when I was teaching, one of the textbooks that I
used is about community organizing and community building for public health and social
work. And in this textbook, it opens up the third edition with an essay by Barack Obama.

And so you can imagine that here, I’m teaching that subject, but it’s backed up by the
president itself. And reading that essay– I have a very diverse student body that I teach,
and I’ve never had anybody criticize it, or tear it apart, or say, this is BS or anything. But
instead, they use that essay to inspire themselves.

And I think, in that way, back in the day, when that book first came out, I was really on
fire. I went to the Denver Democratic Convention just to see that happen, where– when
Obama was addressing the crowd. And you look around, and that was– I belong to this
country. And it’s truly the Rainbow Coalition, like back in the ’80s with Jesse Jackson,
where we were in that vision of Rainbow.

And I felt surrounded by an ethos of not cultural humility, but diversity and possibility.
And look what America is. And it made me so excited that, for the first time, I was
waving a little flag. Of course, they give this to you. At the Democratic Convention, they
give you a little flag.


VIVIAN CHAVEZ: I was 45 years old when I went to that, and I had never ever waved
an American flag. And so it was a feeling like, oh my God– this is why people celebrate
the Fourth of July. And they were just very patriotic. And my background– my father
was actually born on the Fourth of July. And he was in the Air Force in the US.

But we never felt like America– we belong to America, and it’s part of our story. There
was always being on this threshold of insider/outsider. So, I think that’s why, at least for
me, I can say I was getting comfortable and happy. You just get familiar with; this is how
we’re going to do things now.

What Does it Mean to be Culturally Humble?


It was, all of a sudden, different when year 2015, 2016 and this language that was very
polarizing, and hateful, and– in Spanish, we would say “malcriado,” like bad manners.
People are not supposed to talk like that. And here we have somebody who’s a
candidate for president just talking in a way that’s vulgar and like a kid, a bully in a

So, the fact that he won the elections is a wakeup call, and it’s like when you take a cold
shower. It’s good for you. Cold and waking up is not something that we should be afraid
of. In fact, I think that becoming too comfortable could lead into a delusion of things are

And then I feel like now we have to question, well, who are they well for? What are the
multiplicity of experiences in the United States? What is really oppression looking like?
And when people are really wanting to go back to make America back to something
which– at least for my father, when he was in the Air Force, he said that he couldn’t go
into a restaurant because it said, no Mexicans, no dogs.

So I know that I myself and many people listening to this podcast would not want to go
back. We want to evolve and go forward to a different time. I can go on and on and on,
as you can hear me.

But I just was thinking that, even though it’s awful in the reality, at the same time, it was
being awful before. And maybe I was not looking. Because I was not in jail. I was not in
a detention center. I was not being violently abused.

So yeah, it sounded really good to be with a president that was a community organizer,
like me, and who believed in diversity, and inclusion, and listening to the voices. At least
that’s what it sounded like. So, I felt backed up by him.


VIVIAN CHAVEZ: And now I feel backed up by other people, like you, having this

MIGUEL GALLARDO: Yeah, good, good.

VIVIAN CHAVEZ: It was really cool.

MIGUEL GALLARDO: Good, good, good– yeah, very cool. I think you said it so well,
actually, in so many different ways. When I think about what’s happening now, I think
that we’re being sort of prodded a little bit, and people are– people who weren’t– didn’t
see the relevance of these issues before all of a sudden are being impacted by them in
some ways.

And I think, even what you talked about too– and I’ve talked about this before– I think
those of us who are from communities who have historically been disenfranchised and

What Does it Mean to be Culturally Humble?


continue to be in so many different ways– I think we also can– we also walk that fine
line of having privilege as well in many ways, because like you, at times, I don’t have to
think about some of the things that some of the folks in our communities have to think

And if I’m not intentional about it and I’m not staying vigilant about it, then it’s easy to
become complacent and comfortable in whatever space we may be located at that time.
It’s interesting, because when you were talking about your story, I was thinking about
my own story, because my father was a– in the armed forces as well– in the Army,

And I grew up in Texas, and I have a sign in my office here at the university that says,
no dogs, no Negroes– no dogs, no Negroes, and no Mexicans. I grew up hearing about
these signs, but what’s interesting– I’m wondering if this was the case for your father–
what was so interesting to me, though, is that my father told me these stories and I grew
up hearing about the oppression, and the racism, et cetera, and yet, at the same time,
there was this sense of being a proud Mexican-American– very proud to be an

And I thought to myself– it’s not that I’m like I want to distance myself or say that–
because I was born here, and I know what that means, and the with that comes so
many privileges. But it was interesting to me. I think today, when people start to
question what it means to be American, there’s a backlash around that in some ways.

And yet, at the same time, I can understand that questioning and even Kaepernick and
kneeling for the American flag, and the anthem and all. So, I don’t know if there was this
sort of contradiction too, in some ways, with your father. But it was always interesting.

Because my father was so proud to be American. And yet, at the same time, he was
simultaneously telling me stories about all the oppression and racism he experienced, in
not only the Army, but just in life growing up in general. So yeah, interesting.

VIVIAN CHAVEZ: Well, I want to say that Mario– that’s my dad’s name– he’s from
Guatemala, and he made it very clear that, being from the Bay Area– he moved to San
Francisco when he was a teenager, and we lived– we grew up in Berkeley– went to
Berkeley High School, Berkeley San Francisco Bay Area.

We have a completely different life experience. He never really felt as patriotic, because
he said that, when he was in the Air Force, he wanted to live an American dream and
become a dentist, but they made him peel potatoes. He never got to really benefit from
this education.

It really took him a long time to find his way and become a photographer. He was very
critical of the United States, and he fired as many things. It’s not one monolithic thing,
so– just like, in the same way, he would talk about Guatemala. Being a photographer,

What Does it Mean to be Culturally Humble?


of course, he was moved to indigenous people, and the arts in Guatemala, and the
historic truth of discrimination and racism in Guatemala.

Back in the day, his pictures of indigenous people– they were not as interesting to
people as they are now. Now there’s more consciousness about being Maya, about 500
years of oppression, and Maya 2012. There’s a lot more consciousness now, but the
racism, discrimination is always living side by side by the national identity.

And maybe also because of how I grew up, it’s always like, yes and– you can be born
here, but still, you could be excluded in question– being asked, where are you from?

MIGUEL GALLARDO: Totally, totally, absolutely. And the year 2019– we’re still dealing
with those same issues and trying to figure out what we need to do to push through this,
and then to continue to fight against some of these things. Yeah.

So, when we think about this notion of cultural humility, maybe you could talk a little bit
about– I’m just singing about the things that we’re talking about here, and I’m thinking,
where does cultural humility as you have come to understand it intersect with all of
these different aspects that are– and processes, and discrimination, oppression– all
these different things– where does it come in, and how have you come to understand
it? Maybe talk about how you make sense of it, how you define it, in some ways. That
might be helpful.

VIVIAN CHAVEZ: OK. So, I’ll try to stay focused, because it’s a little bit of a long story.


VIVIAN CHAVEZ: When I first was introduced to the term, it was from the peer-reviewed
article that Dr. Melanie Tervalon and Jann Murray-Garcia wrote in 1998. And so I was
getting my doctorate in the School of Public Health in Berkeley, and so that seemed
like, oh, that’s right. That’s interesting. Because I didn’t like the fact that some people
who are in medical school or who are health professionals of any sort would think that
they’re done, that they have become culturally competent.


VIVIAN CHAVEZ: And I like how, in the article, they both said, take a step back, and be
humble, and do some self-reflection. Also, examine your power that you have as a
doctor with your patients, and look at your own institutions and hold them accountable.
So, it was like a three-level prong.

Go inward. Look at yourself, your own values. Then be cognizant of the power and
privilege that you have with the people you come in contact with. And then upstream,
structural– what are your institutions, your organizations? How are they being culturally
competent? I love that.

What Does it Mean to be Culturally Humble?



VIVIAN CHAVEZ: And so, what I did was, there was a book on primary prevention that
we were bringing together as a textbook with all these different subjects that an
introduction to public health and prevention would have. And I wrote one of the chapters
that was on community organizing. And so, I added to the vision of community
organizing cultural humility.


VIVIAN CHAVEZ: And I went ahead and I made a graph to view. I had graduated from
the university a few years. And I wanted to show off a little bit.

And so I made this graph, where I built on the work of cultural competency. Because
they have this trajectory where you are going towards competency, from
destructiveness, to cultural blindness, to being more knowledgeable. And eventually,
you become culturally competent and proficient.

So, I even went to the extent to put cultural humility on this line, this diagram going up,
and– almost like, that’s where we want to go to, cultural humility. And at that point in my
life, I thought I had a right because that’s where I was at. And then something
happened, and it– I’m going to share this story, but I think it’s a little bit my story, and
then I think of so many other people that get to a point where you realize that you don’t
know anything–


VIVIAN CHAVEZ: –where you’re like, oh, wow. I had taken a trip where I was teaching
public health and comparing three different countries. I was part of a traveling faculty
team, where we were responsible to teach students about health and health care
system in India, China, South Africa, and the United States.


VIVIAN CHAVEZ: So it’s this beautiful global health comparative from a cultural
perspective class. It was wonderful.

MIGUEL GALLARDO: It sounds cool.

VIVIAN CHAVEZ: An opportunity to travel with students to these countries and be able
to teach them. So right at the point where I thought that I knew so much about not only
health, but global health, I was called home because a family member was having a
psychotic break and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

So coming back home to face that and to realize I knew nothing about mental illness, it’s
like, how can somebody have a doctorate in health– public health– and know nothing

What Does it Mean to be Culturally Humble?


about mental illness, especially when you look at the statistics, which I knew? We have
so many people who have depression, who have anxiety, who have so many
symptoms. And so we know these things as statistics or as case studies. Or maybe
we’re not even cognizant of that, even though we have students in our classrooms
having a panic attack maybe.


VIVIAN CHAVEZ: And so that was when I thought, oh, now I know what cultural humility
is. This is the moment that you’re in a bipolar support group and you realize, I don’t want
to be in this community. I love community. I’m all Ms. Community Organizing. I love all

And then I’m sitting around a circle where I don’t want to be a member of this
community. And that’s real. And that’s related to stigma.

And it brought out all my unconscious bias and my prejudice. And I thought, oh, let me
go back to read this essay. Because that’s critical self-reflection.

MIGUEL GALLARDO: Yeah, absolutely.

VIVIAN CHAVEZ: It’s not on the graph. It’s not even related to this trajectory where you
can get really good at things, and then you get really good, and you become culturally
humble. Because this feeling of humility was not as– it was really about being shaken
up and being awakened to my lens, my blindness.

Because I thought, wow, right when you think you know stuff, life can show you what
there is to learn. And that’s why I feel like, whoa, we have this moment in our history as
the United States to wake up. We were blind.

We have been individually blind at many times. And now we are nationally blind and
waking up. Yeah.

So that’s when I started bringing in cultural humility teaching into my classes very
differently. I tried to write about this. I sat down in front of a computer and I just felt like
anything that I wrote, when I read other people’s work, I thought, they already said that.

What else could I add? And then it came to my mind. It’s like, oh, I know what I can do. I
can use music, image, and text to show people about cultural humility. And so, the idea
of making a video was a way to be able to share with people my epiphany about cultural
humility without having to focus on myself and my story, or without having to repeat
what other people have already written about.

So that’s when I made the film about cultural humility. And then, when I finished making
it, it was so great that just posted on YouTube and have it freely available to anybody

What Does it Mean to be Culturally Humble?


who wants to use it for teaching or whatever they want to do with it. But it’s a

MIGUEL GALLARDO: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. Well, first of all, I appreciate
you sharing the personal nature of how you have come to how cultural humility has
come to resonate with you in many ways. It’s such a great, I think, model for what
cultural humility actually means, because it’s really about our own– in many ways, it’s
about our own blind spots, our own limitations at times.

And the more we think we might know the– that really, if we’re really being culturally
humble about it, the more we realize how much we don’t know. And sometimes life just
kind of has a way of teaching us and reminding us of some of these things. I always tell
my students that every encounter is an encounter with knowledge, so it doesn’t matter
who it is, where it’s taking place, and whatever, and that, if we’re truly open to being
impacted, to recognizing that what we know and what we see of the world isn’t where it
starts and ends, then we can learn from so much so often and so frequently in our lives
in many ways.

And so I think you’re really talking about this notion of, we have to recognize that, just
because we can talk about these issues, and write about these issues, and teach about
these issues, that that somehow doesn’t necessarily position us in any different of a
place sometimes than most people, because we still have to work at our own
challenges, our own internal maybe biases, or assumptions. I always tell my students
every time I start a class, I’m always amazed at how, at some point in the semester, I’m
taken aback by hearing some of my students’ stories and then recognizing and realizing
that I had an assumption or made an assumption about what I thought their story might
be or who they are in some ways.

And I’ve been teaching for a long time at this point, and I still have those moments
where I’m like– so you talked about your teaching, and so how I started doing it was I
started using myself as a model for how to think about these issues, and I think it
changed how students heard you know about what it means to be culturally culture
have cultural humility, et cetera.

It’s interesting. The project that you’re working on around Cultural Humility– People’s
Principles and Practices and this idea of, what does it mean to create a broader, more
inclusive view of the world? It sounds like it’s connected to this multi-disciplinary,
multimedia, if you will, process. And I’d love to hear about that– I think listeners would
also– and how that can help us create a more inclusive, broader view of the world.

VIVIAN CHAVEZ: One of the places that I brought back to the teaching was to the body.
Going out from media– media is a fantastic way to wake us up to and to bring many
sources together. The body is the container of all the stories. You said yourself. You’re
using your own experience of your own. Yeah, so your cultivation of your body– making
it even more explicit of, what does it mean to have critical awareness?

What Does it Mean to be Culturally Humble?



VIVIAN CHAVEZ: Many of us are trained in the work of Paulo Freire. And we
understand humility as the dialogue that he– in all the liberation education teaching, he
says that, in order to be able to teach from that standpoint, you have to be humble to
have a dialogue. Because otherwise, if you already know stuff, you stop learning. You
can’t do lifelong learning.


VIVIAN CHAVEZ: I wanted to think about, how do I add the body into education? And
how do I use the things that are not from the part of the brain that is very rational,
cognitive, just very logical, outcome-oriented? Because being in school, and also the
subjects that I teach, it’s not even psychology, where we would be talking about

It’s a place where people are very outcome-oriented and they want to know, what are
the action steps? And so to take a step back and to say, where are you? Where is your
body? Do you see the person next to you? What do they look like? And how to care for
other people than just for yourself and your grades while in the classroom.

That’s something that has to be developed and created. It’s not only teaching about
community but creating a community. And so that’s when I also connected with more of
the healing arts, the expressive arts. I know that in the work of Paulo Freire.

We also have Theater of the Oppressed. So that’s Augusto Boal, using Teatro. But I
used to think that was making plays, like role plays. Now, after more research, I’ve
realized that it’s so much more. Using theater means being able to witness yourself.

So that’s a way to grow in self-awareness, to see yourself as you are speaking, as you
are behaving, as you are interacting with power, with levels of power. I was not trained
initially in theater of the oppressed, and I am kind of a shy person to just make people
do– I wouldn’t be able to make people do something that I myself would be shy to do.


VIVIAN CHAVEZ: So, what I enlisted was more of art. So, with art, you can use music a
lot more in your classroom purposefully, have playlists that help you to guide people in a
certain way. You can also have assignments that require students to work with collage.
Collage is an art form that– you can use your hands and you can make a story out of
different images and put them together.

If you want to, for example, say examine violence, the roots of violence in society and
how much violence there is now, and how are you going to be a peaceful person in a
violent society, maybe you don’t want to write an essay about it only, but use the collage
medium to present– bring forth that vision and show it to your classmates.

What Does it Mean to be Culturally Humble?



VIVIAN CHAVEZ: Yeah. Using the art also requires us, as educators, or therapists, or
social workers, from wherever you are, it requires you also to spend time with art and to
spend time with your own self-healing practices.

One of the things that I leaned on heavily for the recovery process of also
understanding, living with bipolar disorder– also questioning, what are some of these
labels that people are given– bipolar, or schizophrenia, or depressive, or all these
different labels– the healing arts, yoga, movement, sports, all that stuff– martial arts–
they help us to break down on some of these preconceived notions in an outcome-
oriented, cognitive, very rational-dominating world. I feel like that’s the project of cultural
humility for me now is thinking, how can I get my students to feel, from the inside out,
what is cultural humility?

MIGUEL GALLARDO: I love it. Sorry, Vivian. Go ahead. Go ahead, Vivian. I interrupted.

VIVIAN CHAVEZ: No, no, you. You. I can go on forever if nobody tells me they want

MIGUEL GALLARDO: No, no. No, no. I was going to say, I absolutely love that. And I
think that’s so powerful. And it really makes a lot of sense too. It’s interesting, because I
also think it really resonates with me, because I always think about, the more intellectual
we become, and we think about things, and how we talk about things, the further away
from it we get, actually, in some ways.

And you’re talking about really bringing it back to from the inside out. And so in some
ways, it’s almost like it’s harder to intellectualize that entirely. It’s hard to distance
yourself from that. Because it’s a part of who you are.

Really, it’s like you’re helping your students access those parts of themselves in a way
that maybe the education system hasn’t always done so well at and taught them how to
do in some ways. How have you seen it impacting students?

And do you feel like it does help them create this broader and more inclusive view of the
world in some ways? What does that mean exactly? When you say broader, inclusive
view of the world, what are you hoping that looks like, potentially, when it’s all said and

VIVIAN CHAVEZ: Well, first of all, I love how we’re having a dialogue. Number one, I
love that, because we are demonstrating a cultural humility in the works.


What Does it Mean to be Culturally Humble?


VIVIAN CHAVEZ: Yes– that we are in conversation with one another and we are
creating the definition of what cultural humility means for us together in this

MIGUEL GALLARDO: Yeah, I love it. Yes

VIVIAN CHAVEZ: That’s an inclusive view, so it’s not just, oh, here you have this
person, and she’s going to give you the definition, and then you have a book called
Cultural Humility, and you’re going to give the listeners your definition. But it’s nothing
like that. It’s something that we are co-creating, and that makes every encounter very
fresh– also a little scary, because it’s unpredictable.


VIVIAN CHAVEZ: I love it. I love talking in hindsight, because in hindsight, things work
out. Then you get to tell the story about them. But when they’re happening, it’s a little

MIGUEL GALLARDO: Right, right, right.

VIVIAN CHAVEZ: So in hindsight, about two years ago, I had a student who was blind
from birth. And he was in the class, and his– it was two students that I had to admit.
Sometimes my classes– they’re over-enrolled, and so it was already closed. But if I was
going to admit the student with a disability of blindness, then he had to have a note
taker, so I had to add another person to the class.

And they both had worked together, and they had already– a rhythm of how they
worked together. This is a student who has been through his entire school, and he has
been integrated into the system, but in a certain way. And this certain way is a way
where he doesn’t really participate. He is in the class, but not of the class.

And so I was telling him how both him and the note taker were going to be
wholeheartedly involved so that, when I added one more student, then it’s– the class is
already 45 people. Then it became 46. And then they were both saying no, no, but we’re
just going to sit in the back, and then we– it’s just writing notes.

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