C. Creating Welcoming Cultures in Helping OrganizationsRev. William C. Gaventa, Associate Professor, Pediatrics and Coordinator, Community and Congregational Supports, the Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities.
What does it mean to be "culturally competent?" Creating a welcoming culture in any group requires a focus in four distinct areas. First, continuing to learn how to help people find places in the community where they are valued. Second, carefully evaluating how well we welcome and create a positive experience for people when they show up on our doorsteps asking for help. Third, our connections and collaboration with other civic, faith, and social service organizations. And fourth, how well we work together and welcome the unique contributions of each of our church members.
Bill Gaventa serves as Director of Community and Congregational Supports at the Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, and Associate Professor, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, UMDNJ. In his role at The Boggs Center, Bill works on community supports, training for community services staff, spiritual supports, training of seminarians and clergy, aging and end of life/grief issues, and cultural competence. Information and resources from these projects can be found on The Boggs Center website: http://rwjms.umdnj.edu/boggscenter/ He has been a frequent speaker, trainer, and workshop leader in these areas. As a writer and editor, he has edited newsletters and several book, written articles and chapters, and served as the Editor of the Journal of Religion, Disability and Health for 14 years, now as an Associate Editor. Bill has a wife, Beverly Roberts Gaventa, a Professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary, and a son and daughter-in-law and a new grandson.
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