Trocaire Launches Cultural Competency Certificate Program

Trocaire’s Emily Perryman and Tom Vane

Student Life Update: January 2019

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to be a tour guide on a public art bus tour with Unite by Night, a non-profit organization co-founded by Trocaire Director of Marketing and Public Relations Emily Perryman. Unite by Night dedicates a year of volunteerism, professional and community service to different local nonprofits that align with what the group believes in, such as diversity, fighting racism and bias and collaborating to create a greater good.

During our tour we took the participants to murals such as the Freedom Wall, Homeland and Peacemakers; the WNY Book Arts Center; and several other stops. It was a fantastic opportunity that showed both beautiful and meaningful art by local and national artists. Seeing this city, the one where most of our students come from and stay in, reminds me that we really are a City of Good Neighbors. We’re not perfect at all–there are still major issues such as gentrification and segregated neighborhoods. Fixing these issues takes major systemic change, but there are organizations, such as PUSH Buffalo and Unite by Night, that are working towards improving Buffalo for everyone, especially the institutionally oppressed.

The tour came at a good time professionally, as Student Life, along with Academic Affairs and Human Resources, has just gone live with the Cultural Competency Certificate Program, what we’re calling C3. This program is open to the entire Trocaire community with the purpose of increasing cultural awareness not only in our professional lives, but also in our personal lives. Its key components involve knowledge gathering, skill-building, and community integration. For students, to be able to note on their resumes they received a certificate that shows their intercultural fluency truly adds to their likelihood of career success.

The program can be started at any time: you don’t need to start with the C3 Introductory Workshop. All of the workshops needed to complete the certificate will be held every semester. We estimate that by attending 2-3 workshops per semester, the certificate can be completed in 1-2 years. Keep an eye on the webpage, as we will continue to add more workshops as the semester progresses.

We believe that C3 will not only make Trocaire a more culturally competent place to work and study, but will influence the Buffalo community for the better. If you have questions, please email Maeve Spiegler.

by Tom Vane, Director of Student Engagement at Trocaire