Mission & History

Mission Statement

NJ Statewide Network for Cultural Competence (The Network) seeks to facilitate access to quality services, training, and resources for individuals, families and community partners that will positively impact diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging across all business and industry sectors.  

History of the New Jersey Statewide Network for Cultural Competence

  • August 1, 2016: Launch of first enewsletter.

  • September 1, 2015: The Leadership Council was established to serve as a decision/planning group for specific tasks within the Network, and to assist the Leadership Team with its growing responsibilities. Members of the LC were chosen through an application process.

  • March 24, 2015: Launch of our first Webinar Series “Becoming A Culturally Competent Medical Home”, presented by Helen Dao from DAO Consulting. The Network has offered regular webinars on culturally diverse topics since then on a quarterly basis.

  • September 12, 2014: The 3rd Annual Conference was held at the Crowne Plaza in Monroe Township. SPAN received a grant from the Department of Health to administer the NJSNCC conference for the first time this year. Subsequent conferences held on November 9, 2015, and the upcoming conference for December 8, 2016, continued to receive grant funding from the Department of Health. Continuing Education credits were awarded to Social Workers and Mental Health clinicians at the September 12, 2014 Conference for the first time, and then again for the November 9, 2015 conference through the Family Service Association of South Jersey. The NJSNCC has applied for Continuing Nurses Education (CNE) credits for this year’s Conference in December.    

  • January 15, 2014: Establishment of the Network’s 4 Working Groups: Group 1 - Professional Development and Community Education: Plan and carry out programs focused on cultural and linguistic competency for NJSNCC members and other interested parties. Group 2 – Strategic Communication and Marketing: Plan and implement an effective communication strategy for the NJSNCC using a variety of media modalities. Group 3 – Recruitment and Social Capital Development: Expand the reach and influence of the NJSNCC through increasing membership and commitment and participation of organization members. Group 4 – Organizational Development (Leadership Group): Oversee all NJSNCC activities and build organizational effectiveness.

  • January, 2014:  Launch of the NJSNCC Facebook page.

  • May 21, 2013: A new Leadership Team (LT) was formed as a more formal structure to help guide the Network forward. The Team was elected by members through secret balloting. The Leadership Team comprised of a Chair, a Vice-Chair, a Treasurer, and a Secretary. Dr. Robert Like was elected as the Network’s Chair, replacing Bill Gaventa as the de facto chair. New members included Sophia Rossovsky as Vice-Chair, Nick Montalto as Treasurer, and Janet Gwiazda as Secretary. Both the DOH website coordinator and the listserv coordinators became part of the Leadership Team.

  • February 19, 2010: The First Annual Conference was held at the Middlesex County Fire Academy, Sayreville. The 2nd Annual Conference on October 19, 2012 was also held at this same location.

  • May 2005: Launch of NJSNCC web site.

  • January 2005. Reorganization meeting to formalize structure of NJSNCC. Status report on Web site: Expected completion within three to six months.

  • Autumn 2004: Agreement by Office of Information Technology Services, NJ Department of Health and Senior Services, to develop Web site. Development of User Requirements.

  • Spring 2004: Beginning discussions of development of Web site for NJSNCC.

  • February 2004: Meeting with Office of Multicultural and Minority Health, Department of Health and Senior Services, to discuss collaborative efforts.

  • January 2004: Development of NJSNCC brochure, focus on various media for distribution of database, development of Strategic Plan, Goal 2: To stimulate, promote, and celebrate the development and dissemination of promising or best practices in culturally and linguistically competent service delivery.

  • Presentations to Medicaid Task Force on Cultural Competence and to Division of Mental Health Services.

  • September 2003: Presentation by members of NJSNCC at the 4 th UMDNJ/RWJMS Conference on Culturally Competent Care entitled “Multicultural Health Care: A Mosaic for The New Millennium” in Philadelphia, PA.

  • July 2003: First Annual Meeting of the NJSNCC at the Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, New Brunswick.

  • Development of listserv to broaden dissemination of notices, information, etc.

  • Continued distribution of data collection tool and development of database.

  • Spring 2003: Development of NJSNCC logo and letterhead.

  • January-February 2003: Data collection tool (cover letter and survey) developed and sent to selected agencies.

  • Winter 2003: Development and beginning implementation of Strategic Plan, Goal 1: To identify existing resources in New Jersey, i.e., agencies and individuals who have knowledge and skills about specific cultures and/or services for people with diverse needs.

  • Autumn 2002: Consensus reached on a Mission Statement, as follows: To strengthen culturally competent services in the State of New Jersey for people with diverse needs, and to facilitate access by individuals, families, providers, and professionals to these services. People with diverse needs are defined as “those with varying abilities and disabilities, cultures, languages, and social and health care needs.”

  • August 2002: First meeting of group interested in network development, representing the NJ Department of Human Services, NJ Department of Health and Senior Services, Early Intervention Collaboratives, Maternal and Child Health Consortia, The Boggs Center, Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN), NJ Protection and Advocacy, and the Developmental Disabilities Council. Name of network formally selected.

  • Approximately 60 DHSS staff, agency personnel, community partners, and family members attended. One of the major goals identified by the group for follow-up was the development of a statewide network.

  • June 5-6, 2002: The Technical Assistance program was convened at the Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ, in New Brunswick, NJ.

  • The National Center for Cultural Competence at the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development conducted the Technical Assistance as part of the Federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau Strategic Plan, with the objective of increasing the percentage of States that implement culturally competent policies, procedures, and practices to 100%.

  • April 2002: The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, Division of Family Health Services, was selected as one of five state Title V programs to participate in a Targeted Technical Assistance.