Capacity Building in Cultural Communication

Resilience Through Equity and Cultural Inclusion

Throughout Emergency Planning with The Frew Group, we ensure you meet your responsibility to serve every person.

We uncover blind spots and help you fill the gaps in cultural communication.  This means policies, programs, and communications outreach across public and private sectors and throughout the communities will be created to ensure all diverse populations and stakeholders understand their risks and areas of opportunity.

What is culture and why is it important? Iceberg showing the layers of cultures

What is culture and why is it important?

Most people think of culture as art or music or food or clothing. But culture is more than the surface-level that we see. 

Culture is like an iceberg – most of it is underwater, hidden from view.

Culture is the combination of unique characteristics of any group of people defined by race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, generation, socioeconomic status, access and functional needs, and more. And, although a popular buzzword right now, “cultural competence” is crucial to successful resilience.

Cultural Competence means being able to see, understand, communicate, build trust, and collaborate with every person in a community. It is inclusion in action.


Cultural Competency is:
Understanding, incorporating and building a bridge between all layers of diverse cultures

What are cultural layers?

art – dance – music – food – sports

use of time  – body language – use of space – interpersonal distance – concepts of cleanliness

values – traditions – taboos – social hierarchy – group orientation  – individual freedom – religions beliefs & behaviors – child rearing – family structure & expectations – social relationships

criteria for good & evil – criteria of individual worth – values not discussed – attitude toward life & death –  hidden rules & regulations  – location of power – idea of justice

The Frew Group builds communities that are resilient, not just when disaster strikes but every day

We’re in your corner. Throughout the planning process, we intentionally build your capacity through skills building, knowledge advising and coaching. We achieve sustainable results. 

The Frew Group develops effective strategies to critical and timely issues that often serve as barriers to meeting the needs of all. We help you address the growing issues of changing ecosystems, emergency management, community development, and organizational challenges.

Our focus extends beyond safety to improving business and organizational policies, industry footprint, and engagement with diverse populations and communities by building organizational diversity and inclusion plans and outreach strategies.

We make your resilience efforts more effective and cost-effective and help you avoid or reduce the risk of lost lives, lost property, lost resources, and lawsuits.


diversity, equity and cultural inclusion | People lining up for shelter at the Superdome in New Orleans

Blind spots in diversity, equity and cultural inclusion lead to fail points

Suzanne is renowned for her ability to reveal blind spots. We all have blind spots, things we don’t know and may not have even known we needed to look for. Your organization or agency likely has blind spots preventing you from being as effective as you could be. But the problem is blind spots can lead to fail points.

This creates social disasters on its own. Or it turns disasters into catastrophes, as we saw with Hurricane Katrina or, more recently, with the California wildfires, where a lack of inclusive planning led to the deaths of highly vulnerable people.

Cultural differences can cause miscommunication. The challenge is often that we do not see things the way they are, we see things the way we are.

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