The University of Kansas Office of Diversity and Equity has created a cultural competency badge that will be awarded to students and faculty after they’ve attended at least two events each semester and four total events per year from the Office of Diversity and Equity, Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity, Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity, or the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
The project is intended to develop students' skills around cultural competency and started as an idea from the Campus Equity Implementation Committee, said Annie McBride, director of projects and policy development.
“People who participate in programs and events related to diversity, equity and inclusion are more likely to develop skills around cultural competency,” McBride said. “Besides contributing to a more welcoming and equitable community, these skills are becoming more and more sought after by employers.”
The badge, which can be obtained each year, is something students can add to a resume when applying for jobs or internships.
“It’s not a physical badge, but it’s something they can use when they’re applying to work or during interviews,” said Student Senate Director of Diversity and Inclusion Mercedeh Tavacoli. “It’s important that they have that cultural competency as something they can utilize in the workforce.”
With this being the first year the program has been implemented, McBride is hopeful for the future of the badge and the students who obtain it.
“Over the next few years, we hope to see more and more people participating in this program,” McBride said. “Eventually it will be possible for someone to have earned the badge every year during their career at KU.”