Cultural Competence; Health Disparities; Health Equity


Inequality and Stratification | Public Health | Public Health Education and Promotion | Race and Ethnicity | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology


The increasing interest in the role of racism and racialization in health disparities, calls for exploring new paradigms in addressing and eliminating health disparities related to race/ethnicity. Cultural competence is conceptualized as one of the keys ways to address racial/ethnic disparities in public health and healthcare. However, for cultural competence to fulfill this role, it requires a critical understanding of the underlying socio-political and economic processes of power, privilege and institutional racism that create, support and maintain existing health disparities. This paper outlines how the concept of cultural competence can be made more robust, by incorporating concepts such as Public Health Critical Race praxis (PHCR) and cultural humility, to more fully tackle the impact of structural inequities on health disparities.