As evidence of racial and ethnic disparities in use of mental health services and attitudes toward treatment accumulates, the need for cultural competence in service provision is undisputed. Two reports in this issue document disparities, and a third article proposes a conceptual model that links culturally competent practices to service parity. Marcela Horvitz-Lennon, M.D., and colleagues found disparities in recent use of services by more than 6,800 black, Latino, and non-Latino white homeless adults who had serious mental illness. Compared with non-Latino whites, black participants made fewer outpatient visits and Latinos used more case management services. However, when the analysis controlled for education, the black-white disparity was no longer significant (page 1032). Examining data for 1,370 youths, Sunny Hyucksun Shin, Ph.D., and Timothy A. Brown, Psy.D., found a link between disparities in children's use of services and caregiver strain. Caregivers of African-American children perceived less strain in caring for a child with emotional or behavioral problems. Thus the lower level of service use among these children appeared to be mediated by caregiver strain (page 1039). Mario Hernandez, Ph.D., and colleagues propose a model that places cultural competence squarely in an organizational context and emphasizes attention to small local communities (page 1046).