Cultural Humility Education


To increase health profession students understanding of diverse populations and their needs, Erie Niagara AHEC has partnered with the University at Buffalo School of Social Work’s Institute for Sustainable Global Engagement to develop a comprehensive cultural humility curriculum to be used as part of a health profession curriculum.

The curriculum is developed using a cultural humility framework which has been defined by Dr. Melanie Tervalon and Dr. Jann Murray-Garcia, as the ability to maintain an interpersonal stance that is other-oriented, or open to the other, in relation to aspects of cultural identity that are most important to the person.

Components of a Cultural Humility Curriculum include:

  • The acknowledgment of the layers of cultural identity.
  • Recognition that working with cultural differences is a lifelong and ongoing process.
  • An emphasis on the significance of understanding the ‘other’ but understanding ourselves as well.
  • An assumption that in order to understand clients, we must also understand our communities, colleagues, and ourselves.
  • The recognition of power imbalances that exist in client provider relationships and in society.
  • The challenging of power imbalances.
  • Institutional accountability.
  • Ongoing critical self-reflection.


Fisher-Borne, M., Cain, J. M. & Martin, S. L. (2015). From mastery to accountability: Cultural humility as an alternative to cultural competence. Social Work Education, 34(2), 165-181. Retrieved from

Tervalon, M. & Murray-Garcia, J. (1998). Cultural Humility Versus Cultural Competence: A Critical Distinction in Defining Physician Training Outcomes in Multicultural Education. Journal of Health care for the Poor and Underserved, 9(2), 116-125. Retrieved from

To learn more about our Cultural Humility curriculum please contact us at (716) 835-9358.