Episode 51: Cultural Competency for Helpers: A conversation with Natalie Overton


When we are working to make a positive impact in a community, who is being left out of the conversation?  Who isn’t being seen?  Empathy starts with relationships and the mirrors those relationships hold up for us.  When we are interested in joining in the conversation of diversity and inclusivity, it can be challenging to know where to start, how to jump in, or who to ask for support. It feels scary.  No one wants to do it wrong.  But what relational work teaches us is that by looking at ourselves, with curiosity and self-compassion, we begin to expand our understanding and move out of our stuckness.

Natalie Overton, educator, cultural competency coach for teachers, yoga instructor, and founder of OmmGirls, is my guest this week.  Together, we talk about why it is so important for helpers to receive help, ways to learn from people of color with humility rather than privilege, honing empathy as a skill, the possibility in agape love, the importance of self-care and self-reflection in the work of cultural competency and social justice, and expanding our ideas of privilege.  Natalie also talks me through a really effective mindfulness meditation technique for letting go that you can start using right away.  


Quoted in the Episode:

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“If you have a lot of people that are open to empathy, and are open to learning and growing, how are you helping hone that? And how are you helping them to use it as a positive force?”  - Natalie Overton

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“As we talk about self-compassion and this place of learning, how to lean into that place of receptivity and love...and we’re having this other conversation about inclusiveness and diversity, there is also stuff within us that feels shattered and that we are detached from that.  We also have to bring that compassion and love to that.”  - Rebecca Wong


Resources Referenced in this Episode:

Book: Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations about Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD

Book: The Indigo Children: The New Kids Have Arrived by Lee Carroll and Jan Tober

“What’s your American Dream Score?” Quiz on PBS.org


Where to find Natalie Overton:





If you're interested in working with Rebecca Wong, you can find out more about her services here:

1. If you're in New York and would like to schedule a relationship therapy session start here: https://connectfulness.com/therapy/

2. If you're a therapist and are interested in mentorship with Rebecca, find out more about services offered here: https://www.practiceofbeingseen.com/work-with-rebecca/

3. To learn more about Rebecca’s Private Couples Intensive Retreats, start here: https://connectfulness.com/intensive-private-retreat/

4. And if you want to dive in deeply into building conscious relationship with your beloved consider sharing an experiential gift of deeper connection and intimacy over valentines in our Divine Mirrors: A Valentine’s Couples Retreat Rebecca is co-facilitating at Menla.


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