Embracing Diversity

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EMBRACING DIVERSITY BY DEVELOPING CULTURAL COMPETENCY Nancy Chambers, HTR Retired Director, Glass Garden Rusk Institute, NYU Medical Center

What is Culture?:

What is Culture? The integrated pattern of human behavior that includes thoughts, attitudes, communications, practices, customs, beliefs, values, traditions, experiences, and institutions of racial, ethnic, religious or social groups.

Who are these minority groups?:

Who are these minority groups? Those born in different countries Native Americans African Americans Hispanics Elderly Hearing Impaired Disabled – physically, cognitively, emotionally LGBT

What is Cultural Competency in a Botanic Garden Setting?:

What is Cultural Competency in a Botanic Garden Setting? The ability of the organization to create an environment based on inclusion and diversity in planning, policy development, program design, and service delivery that meet the social, cultural, cognitive, and linguistic needs of all stakeholders.

Why is it Important?:

Why is it Important? For minority individuals who receive services or work in systems run by majority groups

Why is Cultural Competency Important?:

Why is Cultural Competency Important? Laws O Title VI of Civil Rights Act (1964) ADA (1990) CLAS Demographics

Cultural Self-Awareness:

Cultural Self-Awareness Try listing all the cultures and identities you have: What is your? : Are you? : Have you ever been?: Religion A female In the military Nationality A male Poor Race Disabled In prison Sexual Identity From an urban area Wealthy Ethnicity From a rural area In the middle class Occupation A parent In the working class Marital status Age Geographic region

How Do You Relate to Various Groups of People in the Society?:

How Do You Relate to Various Groups of People in the Society? Child abuser Jew White supremacist Arab American Street Drug-user Senile, elderly Native American Capital Punishment Supporter Jehovah’s Witness Blind person Abortion provider Asian American Gay/Lesbian Atheist Person with AIDS Rapist Black American Pregnant teenager Gun rights advocate Murderer White American Political refugee Person with cancer Pro-life advocate Moslem

Cultural Questions:

Cultural Questions Has had his name mispronounced Has a parent or grandparent not born in the US Can name the West Coast equivalent to Ellis Island Knows how many federally recognized Native American tribes are in the US Can name the lawyer who argues for the petitioner in Brown vs. Board of Education Knows what Nisei means Has had to overcome physical barriers Knows what Kwanzaa is Knows the meaning of “mensch” Is from a mixed-heritage background Knows what an upside-down pink triangle symbolizes Has experienced being stereotyped Listens to salsa music Knows the significance of eagle feathers Knows what “corporate worth” means Is bilingual/multilingual Knows what Rosa Parks did Knows why the Irish immigrated to the US in the 1840s Has seen a step show Has an abuela Knows who Harvey Milk was Knows the color of a parking zone for disabled people Knows what lumpia is Has been misunderstood by a person from a different culture


Self-Awareness How do I show politeness? How do I indicate that I understand another? Do I expect someone to answer a question right away?



Cultural Factors/Issues:

Cultural Factors/Issues Language Communication Space

Cultural Factors/Issues:

Cultural Factors/Issues Feelings of isolation Biological variations Social organizations Socio- Economic status

Cultural factors/Issues:

Cultural factors/Issues Time orientation Efficiency Values

Issues continued…:

Issues continued… Modesty Eye contact

Cultural issues continued…:

Cultural issues continued … Emotional expressiveness Pain

Issues continued…:

Issues continued… Spiritual/Religious beliefs Authority Gender

Cultural factors continued….:

Cultural factors continued…. Dietary practices Family Community

Issues continued…:

Issues continued… Approach to illness/disease Folk medicine Birth/Death

Issues continued…:

Issues continued… Discrimination World events World view

Tips for Improving Cultural Sensitivity to Increase Institution Diversity:

Tips for Improving Cultural Sensitivity to Increase Institution Diversity 1. Do not treat people from other cultures in the same manner that you would want to be treated. Culture determines that roles for polite, caring behavior and will formulate the individual’s concept of a satisfactory relationship


Tips… 2. Begin by being more formal. In most countries, a greater distance between individuals is maintained through the relationship. Best to use last name. 3. Don’t be insulted if visitor/staff fails to look you in eye or questions why they are here. 4. Get an interpreter


Tips… 5. Offer Cultural Competency Training to all 6. Identify stakeholders- various cultural groups – and their needs in the community 7. Set goals related to needs and develop plan or strategy 8. Create formal partnerships and encourage staff to participate


Tips… 9. Recruit locals to boards, task forces 10. Make hiring decisions that reflect diversity 11. Advocate cultural competence principles for others groups related to institution

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12.Be committed through staff/board development and training, hiring, retention, career advancement, performance evaluations, and employee policies that support culturally competent and appropriate practice 13. Check on how your doing

Any Questions?:

Any Questions?

Thank you.:

Thank you.

Nancy Chambers :

Nancy Chambers chambersmith@aol.com

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Queens Botanical Garden as a Case Study Susan Lacerte Executive Director

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Start with awareness! Queens is one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the country. Use census data, help from local colleges, tourism bureaus, elected officials and others to get to know your community better.

Embrace diversity…. (maybe even adopt it!):

Embrace diversity…. (maybe even adopt it!) Vision Adopted October 21, 1997 To be the Botanical Garden noted for presentation of plants as unique expressions of cultural traditions.

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Develop Leadership Emily Lin, Chinese Vipin Thakral , South Asian Jae Shin, Korean Will DeJesus , Latino QBG Board leadership in the 1950s… and in the new millennium

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“It’s the secret shame of the non-profit world…. But there are success stories, too. Of the boards surveyed by The News, the Queens Botanical Garden has the largest composition of nonwhites, 36%.” Daily News, April 11, 2004 Challenges! Since adoption of a $5,000 “give or get” keeping diversity has been more of a challenge—but not impossible! It takes persistence and is not always considered “PC” (politically correct) to ask. But I do. Currently 7 out of 14 board members “non-white”.

Plan :

Plan Research Establish a research function Security Seek out/develop cultural sensitivity training and have all security staff participate by…..” Education “Make every visiting school group aware of Garden’s vision” Marketing “Strengthen ties with ethnic press” Earned Income “Work with gardeners to include more culturally specific plants in the Wedding Garden”

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Research, Preserve, Publish Cultural Specialists Cultural Advisory Committees

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Understand — Conduct visitor surveys Create snapshots

Declare your Vision… :

Declare your Vision… Everywhere! Strategic Plans Business cards Master Plans Articles Newsletters School Brochures Websites Program fliers Agendas Staff documents Budgets Canvas bags Store merchandise T-shirts Caps

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Participate, and Invite Participation The Hindu Temple Society of America celebrates the Festival of Color Cliff Chin leads QBG Tai Chi Practioners in The Lunar New Year Parade in Flushing. Staff & QBG’s Flora march too! NYC Comptroller John Liu and Dr. Uma

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Anniversaries are excellent opportunities for working with various communities. Identifying and working with a leader is a key to success.

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Develop Audiences Queens—the modern day “Ellis Island” —has an ever-changing population. Audience development is a matter of survival! “Arbor Day” in the 1950s The Korean-American Friends of QBG celebrate and donate at Cosmos Night. Tai Chi is practiced daily…and donations are regular!

Audience development —is a two-way street. :

Audience development —is a two-way street. QBG’s Cultural Researcher talks with people about plants. QBG gives an award. QBG’s ad for a local celebration.

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Develop a Research Mentality Gather information to feed programmatic ideas AND “brand” your organization. New Year Traditions (left) Traditional, plant- based healing in the botanicas in the Caribbean community in Queens (right)

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Track Results: 35% Spanish-speaking! Got Spanish-language media articles! Use public programs to: Attract new audiences Gain coverage in non-English media.

When a program is successful--do it again! :

When a program is successful--do it again! Focus on orchids Found a Korean-born botanist at botanical garden meeting! Brochure translated into 4 languages Board member helped get media coverage 76% participants were Korean!

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Use Holidays… to create new shared experiences within your community. Buddha’s Birthday Harvest Fest Moon Festival

Include Community leaders in ceremonies as a way to honor community relations— and gain attention! :

Include Community leaders in ceremonies as a way to honor community relations— and gain attention! Ground-Honoring Sage is burned to purify the area before construction. Ribbon-Cutting

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Develop human resources … …using the diversity of Queens as inspiration. (A Strategic Plan Goal) QBG Volunteer Youth “Greeters” Master Plan Team A Volunteer Amongst the Giant Amaranth In the World Farm!

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Use the changing nature of volunteer and intern programs to bring change. 2012 Leap Year Birthday Interns with the Birthday girl!

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Bring your message into exhibits & signage; consider translation and technology.

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Celebrate! Your successes and recognition!

Embracing Diversity, Fostering Democracy:

Embracing Diversity, Fostering Democracy Democracy “a government by the people” “political or social equality in spirit and practice” Macmillan/McGraw Hill School Dictionary 3 Diversity “the condition of being different: variety” Diverse “composed of distinct elements or qualities” Tolerance “a sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own” Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary

Diversity: Best Practices :

Diversity: Best Practices Kamala Green, Executive Director Office of Equity and Inclusion Arizona State University

What is diversity?:

What is diversity? “ Diversity is more than a feel-good notion; it’s a business reality. It’s important because, on the macro-level, it helps facilitate specialization, invigorates problem solving, and balances biases.”

Defining diversity:

Defining diversity Representation: Extent to which your site proportionately reflects the regional and national populations in which you serve Inclusion: 3 E’s Encompassing, Embracing, E mpowering and giving opportunities t o staff and the community in which you serve

Internal Efforts - recruitment:

Internal Efforts - recruitment Do organizational processes ensure you are identifying and developing the right talent, or are you recruiting in your own image? Do people leaders have the skills to identify and provide the right development opportunities to draw out team members’ diverse strengths and capabilities? Does the organizational structure allow opportunities for experienced people as they move through life stages and careers? Are leaders benefiting from innovation and diversity of thought across the business, e.g. bringing in new faces from your community/or external to your community?

External efforts – engaging the community:

External efforts – engaging the community Communicate diversity commitments internally and externally to your location Establish relationships with age, disability, and veteran-focused ERG’s and community-based agencies Publicly advertise inclusive language and symbols Feature mature adults, people with disabilities, and veterans in product/service ads

inclusiveness is key!:

inclusiveness is key! Expand your advertisement to minority focused media Establish relationships with schools who educate under-represented students – beyond ethnicity If you want to make change, think innovation and then think with a diversity mindset Measure your success not by who you exclude, but rather by who you include!

What have we learned?:

What have we learned? Why is diversity so important to an organization? What are the three components of inclusion? What is the importance of drawing on the diverse strengths and capabilities of your members? Engaging the external community to attract new audiences. Strengthening ties with external media sources, as well as community leaders to promote programming, cultural events, etc. Celebrate successes!

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No part of this presentation may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission of the American Public Gardens Association. Copyright © 2013 by the American Public Gardens Association. All rights reserved. The American Public Gardens Association Vision: A world where public gardens are indispensable APGA 2013 Garden Evolution Conference _______________________________________________

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