Cultural safety is an outcome based on respectful engagement that recognizes and strives to address power imbalances inherent in the healthcare system. It results in an environment free of racism and discrimination, where people feel safe when receiving health care.
Cultural humility is a process of self-reflection to understand personal and systemic biases and to develop and maintain respectful processes and relationships based on mutual trust. Cultural humility involves humbly acknowledging oneself as a learner when it comes to understanding another’s experience.
Also known as structural or institutional racism, systemic racism is enacted through societal systems, structures and institutions in the form of “requirements, conditions, practices, policies or processes that maintain and reproduce avoidable and unfair inequalities across ethnic/racial groups” (Paradies et al., 2008). Systemic racism is not only enacted proactively in efforts that create racialized inequality, but also in the failure by those in power (e.g. policymakers, funders) to redress such inequalities (Reading, 2013). It is commonly manifested in social exclusion and isolation that limits or prevents political and economic participation, or access to and participation in other social systems such as education and health (Reading, 2013).