Cultural competency committee hopes to prepare students for the 21st century

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Nick Marinaro

A mural on a wall at BSM captures the essence of cultural competence–branching out and embracing the world.

Over the past year, BSM has been making a concerted effort to become more receptive to their role in spreading a culture of acceptance. A new development on this front is the recent formation of the Cultural Competence Committee.

While it is still in its beginning stages, the Cultural Competence Committee is a group of faculty and staff members who have been meeting to discuss the future actions they will take to reach their goal of making future BSM graduates more culturally competent. “[The committee was formed] for the necessity and urgency of changing the culture and to prepare our graduates with 21st century skills,” Spanish teacher and committee member Sr. Eric Luna Martin said.

Cultural competence is defined by the American Psychological Association as “the ability to understand, appreciate and interact with people from cultures or belief systems different from one’s own.” In an increasingly global and diverse society, this skill is likewise increasing in importance. As a high school dedicated to the growth of their students in all areas of life, BSM has decided to make an effort to develop this skill in its students.

As with any educational institution, students have to go first. That is why we can’t build a better community without counting on the participation and thoughts of the members of the community.”

— Eric Luna Martin

For committee members, cultural competence is no longer optional, but urgent and necessary in our globalized society. To be an effective and productive member of today’s society, being able to understand and interact with people of other cultures is of the utmost importance. “[We hope to] change the culture and the mindset, making our school and graduates citizens of the 21st century (not only knowledge wise, but also in human aspects),” Luna Martin said.

Although many specifics as to how this will be achieved have yet to be determined, the committee is certainly welcoming student input. “As with any educational institution, students have to go first. That is why we can’t build a better community without counting on the participation and thoughts of the members of the community,” Luna Martin said.

Although achieving cultural competence will be a challenge for the BSM community, the committee believes it be worth it. “It is a necessary process, and all the members of the community (faculty, staff, students, families, administration, president, and board) should be active parts of it,” Luna Martin said.