Evolving beyond cultural competence and embracing cultural humility





equity, diversity, inclusion, recreational therapy


Equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) initiatives are receiving heightened attention in the higher education and healthcare arenas. Such endeavors often emphasize the importance of using current best practices for developing individual and agency-wide EDI-promoting skills, attitudes, and beliefs. The Recreational Therapy (RT) profession has a history of supporting EDI initiatives, frequently focusing on ways students and therapists can develop cultural competence and become culturally competent practitioners. However, in reviewing current EDI literature, trends, and practices, we have concluded it is time for a paradigm shift in the profession. We call upon our RT colleagues to evolve beyond a focus on cultural competence and embrace EDI efforts that promote cultural humility.

Author Biographies

Rhonda Nelson, PhD, MTRS, CTRS, MT-BC, FDRT

Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational and Recreational Therapies, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah

Melissa L. Zahl, PhD, MTRS, CTRS, FDRT

Associate Professor, Department of Occupational and Recreational Therapies, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah

Steven A. Bell, PhD, TRS, CTRS

Associate Professor (Lecturer), Department of Occupational and Recreational Therapies, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah

Jamie R. Bennett, MS, MTRS, CTRS

Instructor (Lecturer), Department of Occupational and Recreational Therapies, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah


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How to Cite

Nelson, R., Zahl, M. L., Bell, S. A., & Bennett, J. R. (2023). Evolving beyond cultural competence and embracing cultural humility. American Journal of Recreation Therapy, 22(1). https://doi.org/10.5055/ajrt.2023.0274