Developing a cultural competemility mindset for educators and clinicians (with Melanie Evans)

Many clinicians are trained to focus on checklists and evaluations so we can walk in to work confident; knowing exactly what our protocols are. 

And while systems and processes are extremely important, we have to know how to use them flexibly. 

When we think about this in relation to cultural competency; we often think of eliminating biases in our evaluations and materials; but it goes so much deeper than that. We also need to think about how we interact with coworkers, how policies are impacting our students, or what’s going on in the community we’re working in. 

When we’re too rigid in the way we do things or the way we think about our work, we may unintentionally make students, clients, families, or even our coworkers feel unwelcome.

That’s why I invited Melanie Evans to the De Facto Leaders podcast to talk about the concept of “cultural competemility”, and how it can help teachers, leaders, and therapists think about cultural responsiveness.

Melanie Y. Evans, M.S. CCC-SLP is an ASHA-certified bilingual pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist licensed to practice in Texas and Oklahoma. She is also the founder of Pediatric Speech Sister, whose mission is to assist other speech-language pathologists on their cultural competency journeys and bring more inclusion in the field. Melanie dedicates her career to serving Black and Latinx populations and closing the academic achievement gap.

In this conversation, Melanie shares:

✅How professionals can better support black and brown children

✅What is the school to prison pipeline, and what are some reasons it’s persisting?

✅Why being culturally responsive is a journey and not a set of rules

✅How we can “read the room” and ask better questions when working with both clients and coworkers

✅What is cultural competemility and how can teachers and therapists apply it to practice?

In this episode, I mention the School of Clinical Leadership, my program that helps related service providers design services that support executive functioning in K-12 settings. You can learn more about the program here:

You can connect with Melanie on LinkedIn here: follow her on YouTube here: and follow her on Instagram @pediatricspeechsister (

You can read her post on “5 Ways to Support Black and Brown Children in Clinical Settings” here:

Other experts mentioned in this episode relating to the School to Prison Pipeline:

Dr. Valencia Perry:
Dr. Shameka Stanford:

We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL and MyFlexLearning

IXL’s comprehensive teaching and learning platform for math, language arts, science, and social studies is accelerating achievement in 95 of the top 100 U.S. school districts. Loved by teachers and backed by independent research from Johns Hopkins University, IXL can help you simplify and streamline technology, reliably meet Tier 1 standards, improve assessment performance, and more. Visit today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.

MyFlexLearning is the scheduling platform that helps middle and high schools meet the individual needs of all students. Create and manage time for flex blocks, WIN time, activity periods, RTI, counselor and teacher appointments and much more. And with a built-in accountability tool and reporting features, solve your challenges around getting kids where they need to be and understanding how flex time is spent. Make your flex time work for you. Visit to learn more and receive $500 off the first year. 
Developing a cultural competemility mindset for educators and clinicians (with Melanie Evans)