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Exploring the Ethics of Cultural Awareness and Diversity – Veronica E. Cruz, LCSW-C (she/her)

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Is there a difference between cultural awareness, diversity, and cultural humility? These concepts are often interchanged but each individually and collectively enhances our understanding and application of the importance of cultural competence. In this advanced level webinar, the presenter will start the dialogue on cultural awareness and the role of ethics to help professionals become culturally humble. Per Sufin (2019) there are four main elements of cultural humility: 1) We are part of several cultures, 2) Cultural humility is different than cultural competency, 3) Cultural humility implores historical awareness and 4) Cultural humility is life-long. We will explore these four elements and focus on analyzing various ethical codes and decision-making models.


As a result of attending this presentation, participants will be able to:

1. Describe the core issues of cultural awareness and diversity to enhance and promote cultural humility;

2. Articulate the connection between appropriately applied decision-making models and principles resolving ethical conflicts;

3. Appraise and apply tools such as the personal and social identity wheel to help with transference and countertransference in relationship to building cultural competency; and

4. Analyze the various codes of ethics and directly apply ethical principles and codes to enhance and promote cultural awareness.


Social workers and other social service providers.


Veronica Cruz, LCSW-C is a clinical and forensic social worker with over 20 years of experience working in the mental health and legal arena. She is a qualified expert witness in clinical and forensic social work in numerous jurisdictions and courts in Maryland and at the Federal level. She concentrates on cases involving illegal or harsh sentences, post-conviction relief, modifications of sentences and juveniles charged as adults. Ms. Cruz is the founder and CEO of Cruz & Associates, LLC a consulting firm that specializes in preparing comprehensive forensic psycho-social reports for criminal and civil matters, continuing education and psychotherapy. When not working on cases, she is a professor at the University of Maryland, School of Social Work and is an avid continuing education presenter who specializes in trauma and ethic workshops.