Cultural Competence for Equity and Inclusion

A Framework for Individual and Organizational Change

  • Diane J Goodman
Keywords: Cultural competence, social justice, diversity, equity, inclusion, multicultural competence


This article presents a model of Cultural Competence for Equity and Inclusion (CCEI) defined as the ability to live and work effectively in culturally diverse environments and enact a commitment to equity and inclusion. Going beyond traditional approaches to cultural competence that tend to focus solely on self-awareness, the appreciation of cultural differences and interpersonal skills, this model integrates an intersectional perspective and social justice concepts—issues of power, privilege, oppression, and systemic change. The CCEI framework identifies a range of awareness, knowledge, and skills that allow people to develop the capacities to constructively engage with people from a variety of socio-cultural identities and create equitable and inclusive relationships and institutions. I describe each of the five interrelated core competencies along with some key components of each core competency. Examples of role and context specific competencies are also discussed. I suggest a variety of ways this framework can be utilized.

Author Biography

Diane J Goodman

Diane J. Goodman, Ed.D. has been working on racial and social justice issues as an educator and activist for over 30 years. She speaks, trains, and consults nationally and internationally with a wide range of organizations, community groups, schools, and universities. She helps individuals and organizations build consciousness, competence, and confidence to create equity and inclusion.
Diane has been a professor at several universities in the areas of education, psychology, social work, and women’s studies. In addition, she was the director of human relations education and the interim affirmative action officer at the University of Rhode Island. Diane is the author of the book Promoting Diversity and Social Justice: Educating People from Privileged Groups, 2nd ed. and other publications. Her website is

How to Cite
Goodman, D. (2020). Cultural Competence for Equity and Inclusion. Understanding and Dismantling Privilege, 10(1). Retrieved from