Type of Organization

Mainstream Organizations

Culturally-Specific Organizations

1) Primary experience



2) Own culture

Not affirmed or possibly denied or demeaned

Centered and affirmed

3) Commitment to the success of people of color

An afterthought at best, and active disinterest or devalued (at worst), and likely temporary, as in “flavor of the month”

Durable and deeply rooted across the organization

4) Accountability

Not to the community

To specific communities of color

5) General Societal Discourse

Generally dominant discourse with demonstrated histories of continuing racial disparities in service outcomes

Typically resistive, with potential for anti-colonial discourses to be affirmed at a client and organizational level, and stretching to societal influence

6) Assessments

Keep problems individualized and tending towards pathologizing

Problems are socialized, contextualized and issues of racism and discrimination will be included prominently

7) Interventions

Not culturally-relevant and likely limited to individual and family interventions

Culturally relevant and likely to include community development and systemic and individual advocacy

8) Epistemology

Likely reliant on external sources of expertise and treating community of color as having invalid knowledge

Community members as experts with subjective knowledges affirmed

9) Design influence

Minimal and a latter consideration with occasional consultations likely

Community members deeply involved