Welcome to the Midwest Center for Cultural Competence, LLC


Capability Statement



A minority-owned federal, state, and county certified small business that specializes in culturally and linguistically appropriate, strategic planning, training/evaluation and organizational support. The firm also assists with workforce diversity initiatives relevant to addressing health disparities as outlined in the provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) and Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS). 

Experience in:

  • Cultural Competence and (CLAS) Facilitation
  • Development of Training Modules and Projects
  • Professional Development Training
  • Executive /Staff Retreats
  • Cultural Competence Leadership Institutes


State of Wisconsin-

Wisconsin Department of Health Services, initiated and co-lead Cultural Competence Committee, charge of the committee is to include cultural competence strategies/goals in major projects and the daily activities of the Medicaid Division, and support initiatives to reduce healthcare and racial disparities. 

The Management Group (TMG)- Consultant

Six Cultural Competence Training Sessions around the state for large (over 500 employees) human services agency, area meetings included pre-post test tools for improving services delivery, reviewed strategic planning initiatives to insure culturally competent future planning based on training and assessment. 

Wisconsin Initiative to Promote Health Lifestyles (WIPHL)-

Training in cultural competence for ($12mil.) federal, state, and medical school project leaders, counselors, and leaders of clinical sites’ Implementation and Improvement teams; assisted in hiring diverse counselors and staff in accordance with required hiring practices; helped design brief cultural competence training; administered the Cultural Competence Committee; monitored and continually improved the cultural competence of the project organization.


Served as Cultural Competence Specialist for a Large Behavioral Health Agency, served as EEOC Coordinator, structured and co-chaired a staff for a cultural diversity committee, provided technical assistance in designing staff cultural competence training, formulated strategies for multicultural staff recruitment and retention, co-led three-year cultural competence strategic planning initiative.

  • National Board Member of the Council for Standards in Human Service Education (Accreditation Organization)
  • Membership in and presenter at national conferences for the National Organization for Human Service (National Organization)
  • Active membership in and/or co-founding member of Association of Multiethnic Americans, Interracial Family Networks, and Multiracial Alliance of Wisconsin, among others


  • Founded in 2003


  • Small Minority Owned Business
  • DUNS: 827031001
  • NAICS Codes: 541611, 541618, 611430
  • Professional Certification:
  • Certified Independent Social Worker (CISW) & Human Services-Board Certified Practitioner (HS-BCP)



  • More than 30 years experience in counseling and education
  • Broad range of client settings including; academic, criminal justice, social work mental health
  • Identify current cultural competence environment and enlistment of support from employees at all levels to enhance individual and team effectiveness
  • Focus on establishment of long-term policies and practices that enhance community partnerships, minimize culture clash and improve work relationships
  • Create structures that support organizational change
  • Provide training in ethnographic interviewing techniques
  • Develop strategic plans to provide effective diversity initiatives

A Note from Harold Gates MSSW, CISW, HS-BCP

Some Thoughts on Empathy, Compassion, Mindfulness, and Cultural Competence


For some time I have been giving some thought to the challenge that we have with relating to people and organizations that are “different”! This has been the case as it relations to our communities and the agencies that provide Human Services to an ever increasing and diverse population. It seems that the more privilege one has the more difficult it is to relate to or provide services that are culturally competent. 

As I have been pondering this, I’ve come up with some thoughts that could more easily facilitate that process. As helping professionals, we are taught to have empathy and compassion for those to whom we provide services. What are the barriers that challenge us to act on this and consistently provide culturally competent services to clients who are “different”? Our lack of self compassion could be one explanation. What follows are some concepts that could facilitate our mastery of the process of becoming a more self compassionate human services professional:

1. Empathy is our natural ability to understand other people’s feelings and share their experience. It consists of two key components: an emotional response to someone’s feelings, and cognitive understanding of her/his situation.

2. Compassion arises from empathy, adding the dimensions of wishing to see the relief of suffering and wanting to do something about it. 

3. Self-compassion means that we take care of ourselves while being attentive to the feelings and needs of those around us. 

4. Mindfulness as seen through this lens is the ability to hold painful experiences in awareness, instead of over identifying with them through obsessive thinking or desperately trying to fix them.

5. Cultural Competence is the ability to relate to individuals in a number of personal, professional, or organizational cross-cultural situations.

Jinpa, T. (2015). A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to Be Compassionate Can Transform Our Lives. New York, NY: Hudson Street Press