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Multicultural Toolkit
(Toolkit for Cross-Cultural Collaboration)
Executive Summary
The Toolkit for Cross-Cultural Collaboration was created as a result of a study of collaboration styles of African American, Asian American, Native American, Hispanic American, and Anglo American communities. While some similarities in styles were found across communities, a great chasm separated each minority community from the European American Communities. The chasm was created by differences in expectations, styles, assumptions, values, body language, and privilege. Each minority community understands that great differences separate them from the European American mainstream cultures. In contrast, European American communities do not have much awareness of the magnitude of differences. Occasional events open a small portal to this awareness, but European Americans do not experience cultural differences as a central concern in their lives. For minority communities, the differences are not only central, but vast and inescapable.

The consequences of gaps in collaboration and communication styles are devastating to each minority community and to the nation as a whole. For minority communities, some consequences are that health services are underutilized and many children do not complete their education. The resulting economic disadvantages are passed from generation to generation.

The Toolkit discusses barriers to cross-cultural collaboration and provides methods for assessing and improving communication patterns and cultural competence on an organizational basis and on an individual basis. By improving cultural competence, trust and mutual respect can be improved between agencies and minority communities, forming a solid foundation for cross-cultural collaboration.

Table of Contents


Stages of Intercultural Sensitivity

How to Use Comparisons of Cultural Patterns

Communication Patterns and Assumptions

Summary of Normative Communication Styles and Values

Ten Myths That Prevent Collaboration Across Cultures



Candia Elliott, Diversity Training Associates
R. Jerry Adams, Ph.D., Evaluation and Development Institute
Suganya Sockalingam, Ph.D., Office of Multicultural Health, Department of Human Resources, Oregon
January 1, 2016
This study was funded in part by the U.S. Office of Minority Affairs

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