Mentoring the Mentors of Underrepresented Racial/Ethnic Minorities Who are Conducting HIV Research: Beyond Cultural Competency

Karina L. Walters, Jane M. Simoni, Teresa (Tessa) Evans-Campbell, Wadiya Udell, Michelle Johnson-Jennings, Cynthia R. Pearson, Meg M. MacDonald, Bonnie Duran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The majority of literature on mentoring focuses on mentee training needs, with significantly less guidance for the mentors. Moreover, many mentoring the mentor models assume generic (i.e. White) mentees with little attention to the concerns of underrepresented racial/ethnic minorities (UREM). This has led to calls for increased attention to diversity in research training programs, especially in the field of HIV where racial/ethnic disparities are striking. Diversity training tends to address the mentees’ cultural competency in conducting research with diverse populations, and often neglects the training needs of mentors in working with diverse mentees. In this article, we critique the framing of diversity as the problem (rather than the lack of mentor consciousness and skills), highlight the need to extend mentor training beyond aspirations of cultural competency toward cultural humility and cultural safety, and consider challenges to effective mentoring of UREM, both for White and UREM mentors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)288-293
Number of pages6
JournalAIDS and Behavior
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by National Institute of Mental Health R25MH084565 (Indigenous HIV/AIDS Research Training Program) and the National Institute on Minority Health and Heath Disparities P60MD006909. We acknowledge the Department of Native Hawaiian Health, John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii at Manoa for their support.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Cultural competency
  • Cultural humility
  • Cultural safety
  • Diversity
  • Mentoring
  • UREM


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