Welcome to the SIETAR USA Blog

Like to submit your blog contribution ? If so, click here to see the guidelines. 

<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   ...   Next >  Last >> 
  • 28 Feb 2021 7:27 PM | Emily Kawasaki (Administrator)

    Andy Reynolds was the 5th President of SIETAR USA. We have had three male Presidents and Andy was the first. He was also the first of three African Americans who have been President of SIETAR USA. Andy’s connection to both intercultural and diversity created a bridge that is significant within SIETAR USA. If you did not know Andy, this special issue of The Interculturalist: A Periodical of SIETAR USA will help you get to know what an unusual person he was, something about his contributions to our Society and to the world, and what he meant to people who knew him. We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. His broad shoulders, equally broad smile, and his fierce support of diversity, equity, and inclusion provided a foundation within SIETAR USA for all of us to be the best we can be.

    Sandra M. Fowler, Editor



    Andy died on February 7th after a 14-month battle with blood cancer. During those 14 months, we were grateful for each day and each other. Few couples get the opportunity to say goodbye the way we did. People have described Andy as committed, loyal, smart, curious, warm, inclusive, encouraging of others, a great hugger, a great laugh, a great cook, and an outstanding photographer. Those things are true. But he was much more than those things.
    In our 39 years together, he taught me that unconditional love was possible to both give and receive. Together, we traveled to over 40 countries and he connected with other people in every one of those countries, coming away with insights and blessings that I, in my introversion, would never have received on my own. Andy had an immeasurable love of life. He loved people, he loved learning, and he reveled in every new person he met. He cared deeply about both racism and virtually every other ism—he fully understood that if one person is not accepted, then none of us can be accepted, and he worked hard to create a world that demonstrated the value of inclusion. His work and membership in SIETAR were part of that commitment.
    Andy accepted both his illness and his death with the same grace, patience, and humor with which he lived his life. Andy frequently said that he intended to live fully until he couldn’t anymore and that is exactly what he did. He talked, listened, and laughed with friends up to the day before he died. Thanks to each of you for your loving sustenance as we say goodbye to his physical presence. Andy will continue to live through each of us who carry on his commitment to social justice.
    Donna Stringer, February 19, 2021

    Andy and Donna

    June 29, 1939 – February 7, 2021
    Andrew (Andy) Reynolds passed away on Sunday, February 7, 2021 after a 14-month battle with cancer. Andy grew up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina as the only child of Florence and Andrew Reynolds, both deceased.
    Following high school graduation, Andy went to college in Lincoln University, an HBCU in PA.  He returned to Winston-Salem to participate in the early Civil Rights Movement, being an observer at the first sit-ins in Greeneville, NC. After public involvement in the Civil Rights Movement and leadership in the Congress on Racial Equality, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and spent the next two years at Fort Lewis in Washington. His assignment was in the medical corps.
    Following discharge from the Army, Andy returned to NC where he helped establish the Advancement School, a private school aimed at serving low-income youth of color. Shortly after beginning some experimental educational ideas, he was transferred to Philadelphia to work in education. In the early 1970s, Andy attended the first class of the Columbia Journalism School program designed to recruit people of color into journalism. His first assignment was in Philadelphia where KING5 TV recruited him to come to Seattle.
    After leaving television, Andy worked for the Seattle Opportunity Industrialization Center, and Seattle Parks Department. In 1982, he joined his wife, Donna Stringer, Linda Taylor, and Elmer Dixon as business partners in Executive Diversity Services, a diversity consulting business where he worked until retiring in 2008.
    In his four-plus decades in Seattle, Andy was dedicated to the community, serving on the boards of the UW EOP program, NW Aids Foundation, the Washington Lottery Commission, and the Seattle-Limbe Sister City Association. Andy was in the first class of Seattle’s Leadership Tomorrow and helped establish the LT newsletter. He served as President of the Mount Baker Community Center for three years and as President of the U.S. Society for Intercultural Education, Training, and Research for two years. He was the recipient of numerous leadership awards.
    Andy is survived by Donna Stringer, his wife and partner of 39 years; and stepsons, Scott (Tomoko) Moore, Mark (Barbara) Moore, David Moore, and Sebastian Benbow. He leaves five grandchildren and eight grandchildren.
    Memorial services will be scheduled for the spring or summer of 2021. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations can be given to commonpower.org, rainierscholars.org, or socialjusticefund.org.

    “Weaving Strength Through Differences”
    Andy Reynolds is one of those rare people who is one in a generation. He dedicated his life to building social justice and was the embodiment of what he believed; he walked the talk, loved without prejudice or hesitation, and was always ready with a joke, a smile, and words of wisdom. A seat at his and Donna’s dinner table was a delight for the soul. He was a true Renaissance man as well as a fellow photographer–I greatly admired Andy's work. I will miss him greatly as a friend and colleague. I mourn his passing as I can imagine the hole it leaves in the life of my beloved friend, Donna. I know he is out of pain and centered in love and joy, both of which he left us with loads.
    I enclose two photos. The first picture pains me deeply, as I am “last one standing” between Andy and Kyoung-Ah. The second picture was taken at Andy’s dinner table, of this incredible couple that I have been privileged to know and call friends.

    Andy, Dianne, and Kyoung-Ah

    Andy and Donna

    Our intercultural community lost a pioneer this month when Andy Reynolds passed away. As a SIETAR member, leader, and educator, he brought wisdom to our mission; Andy has truly been around the block.
    From the early days of the organization, he had a commitment that would not quit. His resume is long and complex, with a list of accomplishments that reflect the depth and breadth of the field.
    But this note is not that list. Instead, this is an expression of gratitude to Andy for being Andy. It is not merely what you know that makes you an interculturalist, it is who you are. A friend—not in this field—viewed Andy’s photo, exclaiming “You can just tell, this man has integrity!” It is who he is. His partner in life, Donna Stringer, will continue their work, bringing her own integrity to their joint commitments.
    And, Andy, thank you for all your hard-earned insights. We honor your ideas, risk-taking, and, especially, your authenticity.
    With respect,
    Janet Bennett, Ph.D.

    Andy at Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, AL

    Andy Reynolds was such an amazing educator, mentor, and soul; we are all so fortunate to have met and worked with him. I can vividly recall him rolling into the ICI Offices, the SIIC campus, or a SIETAR conference hotel and immediately knowing that we were all in for 'some good trouble.' Andy had the ability to make everyone feel welcome and respected; he could guide you to understanding complex issues and then feel the emotional impact of that learning deeply; he could take you and your fellow learners to some seriously high learning edges, hold you there long enough to fully digest the full context of the challenge, and assure you that you could and would step-off that edge and not only survive - but thrive. Finally, after being on the edge of your seat with anticipation and alertness - he'd throw you a look and a zinger and the tension would break - a massive bellow of laughter would erupt from within him and you. Learning from Andy was transformational... and a Hell of a lot of fun!
    I have reflected often over the past 10 days over what I've observed over 20 years of knowing and working with Andy. We rarely have the opportunity to meet—let alone work and befriend a person with such drive and commitment to do the hard work of intercultural diversity, equity, and inclusion. At the same time, Andy had a great joy in the people he met, the beauty of nature, the foods he ate, the music he listened to and he freely shared all of this joy with everyone he met. He was and is the perfect example of the yin and yang of work and joy; tension and release; truth and love. For that, I say thank you.

    Andy was one of the most courageous people we know, and his life was a testimony to love, laughter and learning. He never hesitated to teach or make a point, but he was always loving and kind in the delivery. Ever the questioning journalist, he always asked probing questions, turned ideas on their heads, and took discussions to a deeper level.  Whenever we talked with him, we knew we’d leave enlightened and enhanced. He was a respected colleague, wonderful playmate, and powerful teacher. And he walked the talk, both in his love for Donna and his steadfast commitment to social justice and equity. We are among the many who will miss him greatly and who are at the same time immensely grateful for having known him. May his legacy inspire others to continue the work.

    Donna, Andy, Lee, and Anita

    Dearest Andy and Donna,
    Every year I looked forward to seeing Andy's smiling face at SIIC. I felt that SIIC started with Andy's smile. My impression of Andy was that of both a very fine person and a father figure. Since I was working as a staff member at SIIC, every year Andy would ask me for a rental car. He always chose a larger, luxurious car. Even now, I can picture Andy driving a nice, big car at SIIC in Forest Grove. I was happy to have the opportunity to talk to Andy by providing this help.
    I am deeply saddened by Andy's passing. It must be very painful for Donna and the rest of their family. My father also passed away about 10 years ago, but I have continued to talk to him; and now, even though I can't see him, I always know that he is here for me. So, I believe that Andy will always be with Donna and their family. When I see a nice, big car, I will remember Andy riding in it with a smile on his face, parking on the beautiful green campus of Forest Grove.
    And now that I am serving as an educator at a university in Japan, I would like to honor Andy's impact on American society and the field of intercultural communication.
    Andy has also been an inspiration to many SIIC participants who have come from abroad to study at SIIC. As an educator, I would like to pass on what I have learned from Andy to my students.
    My heart goes out to you.
    With much love and hugs,
    Miki Yamashita

    As I reflect on memories of Andy Reynolds, most are tied to SIIC and his tenure as President of SIETAR USA. His scholarship, practice, and contributions to the field are legion, but I leave that to others to mention. I remember Andy as one of the most caring, welcoming people I have ever met. There was a warmth about him that always made the space around him feel safe.
    One of my first memories was of him conducting Star Power at an evening session at SIIC. It was my first encounter with the simulation and there were over 100 people participating. He was brilliant, of course; and I was so impressed by the seeming ease with which he led us through the activity; he challenged us to engage, and caringly and wisely debriefed the session to crystalize the insights gained; he demonstrated how we too might use this tool to enhance intercultural competence in our students, trainees, colleagues, especially around how power and privilege are so insidious and always present. His passing is a loss of such magnitude and I extend my deepest sympathies to Donna and all his family. I feel fortunate to have known him and to have been able to count him as a colleague.

    My favorite memories with Andy involve sharing meals together; in a hotel restaurant at a SIETAR USA conference; round the dining room table at my house with boxes of pizza, salads, and red wine; and the very best, around a tiny table in Chris Cartwright’s garden in Portland, Oregon, enjoying plates piled with fresh veggies and salmon, catching up on the past year since the last Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication. Sometimes we talked about work—a little—but mostly we shared stories about our families, health challenges, travels, and—most impressively—Andy’s commitment to his regular workout and weightlifting routines. I looked so forward to these opportunities and will miss being greeted by Andy’s big smile, hearty laugh, and huge heart.

    Ann Marie and Andy


    May he rest in peace knowing that his shoulders are big enough to stand on, and stand on them we will. He and Donna taught so many of us so much that we carry with us today in this important work.
    I often introduce his key question: “Does the difference make a difference?” and think, “What would Andy & Donna do?” when I am challenged in the work.
    He was a pioneer. The world lost a force for good and social justice on February 7th, but he will forever live in every training program we deliver, every coaching program we facilitate. He planted seeds that we must now attend so that they grow exponentially. 
    Thank you, Andy and Donna, you two. Oh Donna, my deepest sympathies to you and all of his loved ones as you face the unimaginable. His legacy lives on in so many. May you find peace along this next part of the path. 
    With love and gratitude, Katherine King

    I find that it is impossible for me to think or write of Andy in the past tense, as for me and so many others he is and always will be a living presence. A man of such wisdom, generosity, humour, and empathy, he continues to inspire others with his example of someone dedicated, above all, to love and service. I think of the words of Rumi, written 800 years ago: “When for the last time you close your mouth, your words and soul will belong to the world of no place and no time.” Andy’s soul, his legacy, is immortal.

    Andy reading White Fragility

    Andy, you will be missed. Your physical body may have left us, but our fond memories of you will always be a part of our lives. I will always think of Andy as I knew him at the Summer Institute of Intercultural Communication (SIIC), back at Pacific University, where in spite of his Senior Faculty status, you could often find him sitting comfortably on the sofa in the common area, welcoming all who came by like family - with the warmest hugs, most challenging questions, most wide-ranging true-life stories, and most spot-on words of wisdom.
    Rest in Peace and Rest in Power, Andy. 

    All the related fields of intercultural, diversity/inclusion, race relations, training, and education, have strong ties in this organization. All have lost a grandfather with the passing of Andy Reynolds. He was a long time SIETAR leader, trainer, and the Intercultural Communication Institutes’ (ICI) Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC) educator. He would always have an American hug for those he knew well (who also liked hugs) and a culturally-appropriate greeting, hand-shake, or bow for those he was just meeting. ICI and SIIC staff always loved having the SEATTLE Contingent arrive, as we would get wonderful greetings, often a food treat, and, even better, a first look at his amazing photo cards.
    His professionalism, his kind spirit, and friendly words of advice and wisdom were all treasured by the staff. He will be greatly missed.
    Sandra, Kent, Franki, Elsa, Lori, Steven, Antimo, Miki, Chris, Melissa, Mike, Jody, and many more



    Thank you to ICI, Janet Bennett, and Sandy Garrison for the following photos of Andy at SIIC over the years.


    A Great and Good Warrior King

    Like a great and good warrior Andy battled skillfully for justice. He stood by others who sought justice and stood up for those less able to do so. Andy stood tall and strong as he sometimes led the charge and sometimes engaged side by side. In really tough situations, where we seemed to be outnumbered and surrounded, we could trust him to stand back-to-back with us. You could count on him. He was worthy. Like a great and good king, he was filled with compassion. He brought us joy. He pulled us together, especially when we were far apart. He ruled with strength and goodness seeking unity across many divides and differences. While he exuded healthy power, he was also filled with love…which he shared generously. As a great and good warrior king, may he rest in justice, unity, and love. Somehow resting in peace does not feel like Andy.

    With Love, Respect, and Appreciation,

    Robert Hayles

    Andy and Peggy Pusch


    When Peggy Pusch said that she thought Andy Reynolds would make a good SIETAR USA President, she was right. We welcomed his experience, kind humor, and leadership qualities. At the end of Andy’s term of office, he gave each Board member one of his photo cards—a card with a photograph he had taken that he connected with the person. My photograph was a dock and it was spot on. My late husband liked to talk about “pushing off from the dock” which meant taking a chance, being prepared, and—when the time comes—moving forward. Andy’s photograph spoke to me of the many times this had happened in my life. Times when you aren’t sure exactly what will happen, but you decide it’s what you want or need to do—and you do it. Those of us with experiences in cultures other than our home culture know that feeling well. I am sure as a pioneer in Equal Opportunity (as we used to call it) Andy had many, many of those experiences. He learned from them and passed on that learning. I remember during a long-ago conversation with Andy when he asked me who should be the U.S. presidential nominee. When I said that I thought it should be Barack Obama. I was surprised that he was so surprised that I wasn’t supporting Hillary. It was a good aha! moment for each of us and led to an interesting exchange of ideas. Like so many others, I loved Andy for all that he was. Rest in peace, dear friend.

  • 15 Feb 2021 2:42 PM | Karen Fouts (Administrator)

    Hello again, and welcome to this edition of the SIETAR USA newsletter and my contribution to it as the President. My message in January changed because of events, and it has this month as well, because we have had the sad news of the passing of Andy Reynolds. He was someone who has had a great impact on this organization and many like it around the world, so I wanted to just reflect on Andy’s legacy a bit. As somebody who didn't really know Andy that well, I got to meet him a couple of times at different events, and of course the gravitas that surrounded this wonderful man was evident.

    As somebody who is fairly new to SIETAR, I did not have the benefit of actually knowing Andy for all that long, and so what I have to rely on are the insights and the reflections of people who he impacted so much. I've been listening to a lot of those over the last number of days, to get a sense of Andy’s heart, his intentions and again his impact on this organization and others, and I think a couple of things stood out. Certainly, he was very passionate about what he did. He really thought deeply and knew that what he was doing was really important work and the gravitas that came along with that was evident.

    The other thing is how he made other people feel—how he made them the focus of his attention when he was sitting with them and engaging with them, so that they knew that he was intensely listening. He really did invest himself into their wellbeing, which often times might have made it seem that he was being confrontational and rather direct, which was I believe, a great skill that I’ve seen many of the people who knew him and loved him reflect on. The other thing is that he was bold, and he did his work large and loud and he really didn't think too much about what other people were going to say about it in many ways. So, what I want to do is use Andy’s legacy, and build on that for my message here today.

    In many ways, we are an organization of many various cultures, many varied backgrounds, and walks of life. This includes professional backgrounds as well. One comment that I did reflect on was the statement someone made that Andy really approached this work as a business and we are a professional organization at our heart, we are made up of professionals, this is the work we do. We do it with love and dedication, but it is the work we do as professionals. So, when I think of people who have asked me about the activities that I do, online and in other places, I’m often asked what drives me to do this. Even though I’m kind of an introvert (I have those tendencies) I believe what I do and the message I have has importance and can have an impact on and hopefully provide inspiration to others. So, for me that’s the reason I do what I do, that is my driving force.

    However, that does not have to be the same for everybody. Everybody should have their own motivation, as to why they feel that the message inside them, those things that burn inside them that they need to pass on to other people. I want that to be validated in whatever form that you put yourself out there in the world.

    So, that means that sitting here today as you're listening to (or reading) this—is there is there a pen that you can put to paper? Is there a video you can do like this? Is there a recording you can do on your telephone? Is there something that you can contribute to put your voice out there, knowing full well there are going to be people who will question your intentions and they may push back on the actual information you put out there? My encouragement would be to do it anyway. You can sit in a comfortable zone and not say anything and, believe me, people are still going to question your intent on that. So, if I can encourage anything for anybody, it is to do so, even if you want to use SIETAR USA as a portal, we are always hungry for content to put out there to the membership, because the membership needs to hear from you specifically. And it needs to have these open discussions, even when they are uncomfortable because—as I always say—the uncomfortable is the place that we all should be sitting in to help us grow. There's nothing wrong with being uncomfortable. In fact, I think it's the only place to be and it's worked for me, even though I’ve found it quite hard—but it has worked for me.

    I'm just one person in a large organization of wonderful leaders and inspirational people like Andy who have come along and impacted the world in such a great way. I can only hope to dream to impact the world in the same way that the likes of Andy Reynolds did, and so I just wanted to offer that today as a little bit of a reflection.

    As you as we go forward into this this new reality that we're working through at the moment with a worldwide pandemic and many, many issues like Black Lives Matter that are impacting and really forcing positive change in this society, let's reflect on what we can contribute to it. As Seth Godin says, it would be selfish to keep this work to yourself, the world needs to hear from you. We need to hear from you, and as President of SIETAR USA, I need to hear from you.

    This is the inspiration that keeps me going, and I know it keeps many, many people going. In this organization we want to hear from people like you, the membership, and others outside the membership who are willing to put their hand up and say “I’ve got something to say and I’ve got something to say that's real and it's from my heart, and I believe in it wholeheartedly.” So, I offer that as my final thought.

    I would like to extend our deepest sympathies and warmest regards to Donna and Andy’s family. May we see more like him, may we try to be like him, may we just live his legacy into the future. We must believe that that he didn't leave crumbs for us to pick up. It wasn't that at all. He actually left us the pieces of yeast that he baked bread with, then it is on us to take those and bake our own recipe; put it together and put it out there for the world to taste, knowing full well that not everybody's going to like it, but—you know—maybe they might just come around eventually.

    So please keep safe keep well and, as always, I am only an email or a telephone call away. Please reach out anytime. I want to help and support anyone in the SIETAR USA organization, whether it be professionally or personally. I'm always honored to do so. Hope to hear from you, and we’ll see you next month.

    Brett Parry
    President, SIETAR USA

  • 14 Feb 2021 11:43 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    May he rest in peace as he lives on in our memories.

    The DEI/Intercultural field lost a giant when Andy Reynolds passed away on February 7, 2021. This message is to let our readers know that SIETAR USA would like to commemorate Andy with a special issue of the newsletter. We invite you to send a written reminiscence of what Andy meant to you that we will publish in the special issue. You also have the option of sending a short message of condolence from your phone or however you like to do videos. Please keep the videos to 1 minute. The written messages should also be brief, no more than 2 paragraphs. A favorite picture of Andy—with you if possible—is welcome too.

    Send your written or video message to info@sietarusa.org or to brett@culturalmentor.com. We would like to receive your messages no later than February 20, 2021.

    There are no better words to describe his parting and who he was than those of his beloved wife, Donna Stringer. “My love and life partner of 39 years died this morning after a 14-month valiant battle against blood cancer. He was smart, funny, a master cook and photographer, but mostly he was dedicated to social change for everyone. He taught me so much—about absolute dedication and unconditional love, I will miss his physical presence but will continue consulting him as I carry on our lifes’ work.”

  • 14 Feb 2021 11:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    2021 Conference Banner-OmahaThe Conference Committee is keeping our fingers crossed that an in-person conference can be safely held in October 2021. The predictions are good that some gathering will be possible by then. However, it’s too early to know if that is optimistic or real. We will all be wearing masks and—to a reasonable extent—social distancing. We will make other adjustments as necessary, such as instead of our typical, fabulous buffet lunches, you may be getting a tasty plated lunch or gourmet boxed lunch. The most important element for this conference in Omaha is that we will all be there together! Connecting with real colleagues and friends, instead of a screen, sounds like something to look forward to as we make our way through this year.

    We have already gotten a few questions regarding the possibility of a hybrid conference that is part virtual and part in person. We currently have no plans for a hybrid conference since they have a variety of problems that are complicated and difficult to solve. We are investigating the issues and will report more next month. Know that we have your best interests in mind and would like to make it possible for everyone everywhere to attend, but the reality is that it is not likely possible.

    Call for Proposals (CFP) for the 2021 Conference

    Watch your emails for the opening of the Call for Proposals for the 2021 conference. Once again, YOU make the conference what it is, YOU create the space in which we are learn and grow together. Start planning now for what you’d like to present this year. The theme of the conference is Mind, Culture, and Society. SIETAR USA leadership has carefully watched the events of the past year and what is currently happening. Each part of the theme relates to the issues of racism, white power and privilege, equity, social justice, and their effect on practitioners of color and on all members of SIETAR USA.

    How do these three arenas—Mind, Culture, and Society manifest in your work, training, or research? What new ideas, frameworks, or applications have you developed or encountered that have enhanced your work? Read through the descriptions of the conference theme and track themes to help inspire your presentation planning. As always, SIETAR USA welcome presentation in a range of formats so there is sure to be one that inspires you. We even have NED Talks for those who wish to share an engaging story or insights. If you are more of a right-brained person, there is even a category for artistic expression. How do you use art, theater, dance, or music in your trainings? What does the art of a culture tell us about that culture? Come present at this year’s conference and lead the discourse addressing these important questions.


    Mind: Leveraging Neuroscience and Beyond. Scientists studying the brain have applied their findings to many areas of human interaction. Most significantly, neuroscientists are increasing our understanding of the mind in such areas as prejudice and bias, as well as intercultural competence and understanding. What can we learn from them that applies to our work?

    Culture: Foundational Innovation: How have the events of 2020—the wide-spread focus on anti-racism initiatives, the increased awareness of the pervasive impact of white supremacy—influenced your approach to learning and teaching about intercultural competence? How have you changed and adapted your focus on culture in response to the call for social justice in this pandemic?

    Society: What have we learned about the issues facing today’s societies in the United States and around the world? What is the role or duty of the intercultural or DEI professional? Prominent among the issues facing us as professionals is the impact of Black Lives Matter. In addition are health pandemics and challenges to democracies, new and ongoing civil unrest, immigrant and migrant issues, and concerns regarding racial and gender identity. How do these issues shape the work we do on the ground and how are they shaped by our work? And finally, how do the intercultural and DEI perspectives intersect and inform each other?

    General: This category has been present since the inception of SIETAR. It is reserved for sessions that address intercultural and DEI education, training and/or research that don’t fit neatly into the components of the conference theme.

    Be a contributor:

    There are many ways you can contribute to the conference. You can volunteer for a committee, you can present a session, you can exhibit or advertise at the conference. Or you can become a conference Sponsor. Your input, expertise, and donations are all important to making the conference a success. What is your favorite way to contribute? Contact us at conferencechairs@sietarusa.org.

  • 14 Feb 2021 11:24 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Robert Kerry BridgeThe Robert Kerry Bridge

    You can’t go to Omaha without hearing about Bob. What is so special about a bridge, you ask? Well for starters, it is one of the most beautiful spans of a river in the world. It leads to miles of walking trails. The information stations along the bridge offer a perspective on the environment, the first peoples who lived here, and the construction of the bridge. Perhaps you’d like to go Bob walking, or even Bobbing (yes, it’s a thing) while in Omaha. Bob is close to the conference hotel, so you can take the MLK walkway to the river and you will have a chance to check it out for yourself. You may even meet Omar. Learn more about Bob here https://www.visitomaha.com/bob/ (Photo from Visit Omaha)

    Old Market Square  https://oldmarket.com/

    Just a short walk from the Hilton Hotel in Omaha is the Old Market District – a 17-acre area of historic buildings amid cobblestone streets that is home to a diverse mix of stores funky and modern, restaurants featuring Midwest cuisine and ethnic specialties, bars with a lot of character(s), and interesting art galleries. There is something there for everyone. THE OLD MARKET is Omaha's most historic, most entertaining neighborhood. You can even go for a ride in a horse-drawn carriage! (Photos from Wikipedia, Pinterest, NYTimes)

    El Museo Latino www.elmuseolatino.org.

    The El Museo Latino opened its doors in the historic Livestock Exchange Building on Cinco de Mayo 1993. It was the first Latino art and history museum and cultural center in the Midwest. In 1997, the museum moved to its present brick and red tile roof building. The original construction of 1887 was a school and was reconstructed in the 1930s. Today, El Museo Latino is one of the only twelve Latino museums in the United States. What would you see there? In addition to special exhibits, the collection includes traditional, indigenous, and contemporary works ranging from Pre-Columbian time to the present. The collection includes textiles, sculpture, photographs, ceramics, and works on paper. (Photos from www.elmusueolatino.org)

  • 14 Feb 2021 11:18 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A one-day workshop with Thiagi is like a walk in the warm spring sunshine. He sheds light on interactive training and generously shares his skills and insights with us. If you attended the workshop last September, join us for new ideas and activities. If this will be your first virtual workshop with Thiagi, you will be surprised at how much fun it is and how much you will learn.

    Date: SATURDAY, APRIL 17, 2021

    Time: Start at 10 a.m. CT and end at 4 p.m. CT. Several short breaks plus a longer break for lunch or whatever is appropriate in your time zone.

    Keep them Engaged: Live Online Learning Activities (LOLAs)

    During the past 10 years, Thiagi has field-tested and improved more than 20 types of Live Online Learning Activities (LOLAs) that have been incorporated IN virtual online training sessions. He has published a book on this technique, providing detailed instructions for conducting 11 of these LOLAs. He is currently working on the second book.

    This 1-day workshop walks the talk and teaches you to use different types of training activities in live online sessions. Thiagi and Matt will provide you with a conceptual framework for LOLAs, as well as countless activities you can modify and adapt for your own multicultural training sessions. You will learn activities for technical, management, sales, and interpersonal content. You will use these activities to also teach you how to adapt them to best fit your needs, handle the virtual participants, and decide which activity will best work with your training objectives.

    Cost: Much as we know the high value that Thiagi’s training brings to our members, SIETAR USA has determined to keep the cost the same as it was last year: $27 for students; $57 for members in good standing; $77 for member sponsors; and $97 for non-members.

  • 14 Feb 2021 11:04 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Craig StortiUnderstanding Europeans by Stuart Miller, John Muir Publications, 1987.

    Not Like Us: How Europeans have loved, hated, and transformed American culture since World War II by Richard Pells, Basic Books, 1997.

    Reviewed by Craig Storti

    One of our goals here at BookMarks is to remind people of great books from the past and also to introduce those books to a new generation of the interculturally minded. In that spirit this month we review two books, one that is 34 years old and one that is 27. We realize, of course, that even intercultural books can be dated, even though they do not typically deal with topical subjects, and readers may rightly wonder if books written so long ago can be still be relevant today. You will have to answer that question for yourself, but for what it’s worth, this reader believes these two books are as insightful now as they were when I first read them all those years ago.

    Let me add here at the outset that their titles notwithstanding (especially Miller’s book), the real content of each book is comparing Europeans with Americans. American readers, therefore, will come away with a deep understanding of Europeans and an even greater understanding of themselves. I don’t think there is anything I have ever said about American culture to any audience I have ever addressed (or in any book I have ever written) that I did not learn in these two books.

    Understanding Europeans book coverWhen I picked up Understanding Europeans and had only read the Preface, entitled “Painted in Blood,” I was transfixed, and I couldn’t help wondering if the rest of the book could possibly live up to this beginning. I need not have worried; the book is one stunning insight after another. Here are just two examples:

    In America it is especially hard nowadays to have personal pride. The doors of opportunity in our country are, supposedly, open to all. Therefore, one is always inclined to question oneself and ask why one isn’t rich and famous, or richer and more famous.

    [In] general, the European exists in an inner world where things won’t get better and life is not very good to begin with. Psychologically, this view shelters him from some of the shocks and disappointments of existence. Practically, such an attitude leads to the caution necessary for confronting what experience has shown to be a dangerous and intractable universe.

    Not Like Us book coverThe Pells book contains many similar general insights, reaching many of the same conclusions as Miller, but it covers a much broader canvas; here are a few chapter headings to give you and idea: Transatlantic Misunderstandings—American Views of Europe; Transatlantic Misunderstandings—European Views of America; Mass Culture: The American Transmission; The Americanization of Europe’s Economic and Social Life. Don't be put off by some of these titles; there’s a goldmine of cultural insight in this book. Here are two examples:

    Unlimited space was not just a physical attribute of the American continent, it was...a key to the American psyche…. In small countries like Britain, Switzerland, or Italy, spatial restrictions led to...a sense of limited possibilities. In America…the horizons were infinite and so too were the opportunities. There were few obstacles to economic or social ascent. In Laski’s view, “the element of spaciousness in American life” resulted in a dynamism that was the opposite of European rigidity.

    Many visitors were impressed with how readily Americans moved from one place to another, how prevalent their assumption that they could improve their luck by changing their address or embarking on a new career. To Europeans who normally went to school, married, and spent their adult years living in the same house and working at the same job, all within a few miles from where they were born, America appeared to be a nation of nomads....Once past adolescence, children invariably left home, relocating in another part of the country. To stay put was a sign of failure.

    To be sure you have to wade through more prose, some of which is not cross-cultural, to find the gems in Pells, but they are there. If you only had time for one of these books, then it should definitely be Miller. But if you like what you find in Miller, then you really should try Pells. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re called upon to explain Americans to Europeans or vice versa, these books will make you sound brilliant. If you already sound brilliant, then this will just be icing on the cake.

    While we’re in the neighborhood (bookwise) and for those who want just one more take on American culture, I’d like to add a third book: Out of Our Past: The Forces That Shaped America by Carl Degler (Harper) originally from 1959. This one does not compare Americans to Europeans; it just explains Americans—with great insight.

  • 13 Feb 2021 8:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Neal Goodman Ph.D.

    Dr. Neal Goodman, CEO of Florida-based Global Dynamics Inc, is an internationally recognized authority on Cross-Cultural Competence, Global Mindset, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. A leader in DEI since 1963, his wealth of experience makes for a great reason to publish his lifelong journey as an interculturalist. Organizations and publications from around the globe seek his advice on creating globally inclusive organizations. He received SIETAR’s 1995 Outstanding Senior Interculturalist Lifetime Achievement Award and serves as Professor Emeritus at Saint Peter's University. He is most proud of his two daughters and grandchildren and still publishes articles, among them Best Practices in Unconscious Bias Training.

    I have spent most of my life teaching, training, and facilitating in front of thousands of groups, but you may be surprised to learn that my voyage has been completely unplanned. For those of you beginning your journey, you may discern some tips or danger zones you may want to avoid from the story below. For those of you in the midst of your careers, or who are veterans of our field, you may find this an opportunity for stop and reflect on where you are and why you are committed to learning.

    There has been one constant in this unplanned life and that is that I have learned the most from people who are not like me. That learning comes as a direct result of my curiosity about others. During the mid-60’s, my mother wanted me to build up my resume for college so she recommended that I apply for a youth leadership retreat. Unknown to her, this was a Civil Rights camp and the experience was life-changing. I knew I wanted to do something to end bigotry and injustice. I delivered my first workshop on Racism and Prejudice while not yet a Junior in high school. My peers at the retreat represented every race, religion, gender, and ethnicity (which was how we thought of diversity at the time). I learned much from the other participants as I listened to their stories of prejudice and discrimination.

    In my Junior year, I was put into an English class with the most feared teacher in the school. She measured competence by one’s handwriting and mine is still is the worst I have seen. We could have not been more different, but when she found out about my activities in the Civil Rights movement, she would tell me to skip the books she was assigning to the class and gave me several novels by James Baldwin (always handed to me after class in a plain manila envelope). And so even while still in high school, I led numerous youth meetings where we discussed how to eliminate bias in our lives, schools, and communities.

    At the retreat, I also met two Jesuits who were part of a panel on religious diversity. They taught at a Jesuit College in my hometown and asked me if I would consider attending a Catholic college to help the Catholic students learn about Judaism. Little did they (or I) know that I was about to become a devout agnostic, but I did decide to attend the Jesuit Saint Peter’s College. As part of a minority group, I quickly learned much more about Catholicism than I helped Catholic students learn about Judaism.

    The Jesuits were inspiring and ironically coaxed me into spending my Junior year at Hebrew University of Jerusalem- which is not a Jesuit college. This was the summer of 1967 and a month before my arrival, a major war was fought between Israel and its neighbors. I was leaving the urban unrest (protests and riots) of New Jersey for the war zone of Jerusalem. As it turned out, my closest friend in Israel was a Baptist from Minnesota, who had been in his last year in the Naval Academy when he saw a vision of Christ on the beach in Jacksonville, FL, and decided that he had to leave the Navy and become a Baptist Minister. We could not have been more different- a tall deeply religious Minnesotan who knew that the Vietnam war was justified, me a city kid from New Jersey who was non-religious and was involved in many anti-war protests – yet we learned the most from each other. During this year, I also spent considerable time with communists on a kibbutz, Palestinian Arabs, and students from Africa who were studying at the school.

    Coming home from an international experience can be very daunting. I could not relate to my fellow NJ students and I was looking for something international and I found myself working for the US Mission to the United Nations. Again, here is a working class, college student learning from two U.S. Senators who were at the Mission during my stay.  We could not have been any different but their sage advice to avoid a political career shaped my career goals.

    I learned from my experiences that I could not solve the race issue in the United States, could not bring an end to conflict in the Middle East, and could not bring world peace to humanity. So what does an idealist do for a career? I became a College Professor. Ironically again, I was offered a position at Saint Peters’ College barely one year after graduating. At the time, it was a temporary position but ended up lasting for 35 years.

    During much of my career, I suffered from “Imposter Syndrome”. Even though I had a doctoral degree from NYU and was publishing articles, I expected someone to come out and expose me: a working-class kid from Jersey City with little to offer. What I lacked in confidence, I made up for in certainty about my love for learning and helping people reach their full potential.

    As a faculty member, I would have my students read The Autobiography of Malcolm X and The Wall Street Journal. Almost 50 years later, I would be facilitating Unconscious Bias programs at Dow Jones. At Saint Peter’s College, I created an International Student Exchange Program that allowed our students to study abroad, and it brought international students to our campus. I also began to facilitate seminars on Internationalizing the Curriculum at many colleges and professional meetings. Fortunately, this led me to meet Rick Detweiler and Nan Sussman who both encouraged me to consider applying for a sabbatical at the East-West Center, a think tank in Hawaii. At the SIETAR International Summer Institute in Washington, I met with the top scholar at the Center and he told me that the Center was not interested in those who were “teachers” only researchers. Later at the Institute, I publically challenged his research and rather than disagree with me, he approached me later to invite me to spend a year at the Center. Hawaii’s multiculturalism was a perfect fit for my curiosity. At the Center, I was on a team that focused on how to teach others about our respective cultures. I was the only American on a team of people from 12 diverse cultures from Asia. I worked with luminaries such as Richard Brislin, Dan Landis, Paul Peterson, and others. Again, I was learning from others who were very different from me.

    My background in Social Psychology and my interactions with others led me to recognize that there are multiple perceptions of the same reality. To be successful, I needed to learn how to see the same situation from multiple perspectives simultaneously. I came back from the Center re-energized and created an Intercultural Studies program at St. Peters, which led me to reach out to faculty from other disciplines. The program was multidisciplinary and my courses were co-sponsored by the Sociology and Business departments- something akin to blue states working with red states. Crossing over to learn about others is critical to me and to those in my programs.

    When I returned from the Center, I found little academic interest in the field of intercultural relations or diversity from academic disciplines. Through a mutual acquaintance I was invited to attend a small meeting of corporate heads of learning and development. My perceptions of corporations were radically altered as a result of this meeting. Once again, meeting others with an open mind led to learning. The goal of these learning leaders was to create more successful international assignments for expatriates. I understood that their corporations’ self-interest was at the center of their goals, but this provided me with the opportunity for me to implicitly promote the agenda of mutual respect and understanding to a much wider audience. I knew that I needed to facilitate their ability to build bridges of understanding to be successful in the increasingly culturally diverse and geographically dispersed workplace and marketplace.

    Join us next month for part two of Neal’s journey: founding Global Dynamics and developing state-of-the-art consultancy and training services.

  • 13 Feb 2021 8:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Many of us are excellent archivists of our own intercultural materials. Whether we are trainers, consultants, college professors, or administrators, we want to pull a relevant Bennett passage, Trompenaars’ thesis, or Thiagi exercise at a moment’s notice. Some of us consult heavy tomes from our bookcase while others bring up their extensive list of bookmarked tweets, PDF files, or websites.

    As interculturalists move through their career, these collections gain historical value as the past fifty years show the significant growth and changes, and evolving methods of our discipline. Many decades of accumulated papers, articles, notes, letters, photos, audio recordings, and video tapes certainly become our own personal treasure troves. But at SIETAR USA we asked the question: what happens to these treasures when skilled interculturalists retire?

    Neal Goodman, president and founder of Global Dynamics Inc., and a cherished member of the organization, is one such accomplished individual with a treasure trove of materials under his roof in Florida. Having taught and trained thousands across educational institutions and global organizations, he has turned one room into a library of sorts filled with cabinets full of books and original materials. “I’d love to have that somewhere that it can be used and referenced,” Neal says. “And - if nothing else – digitized, so that you do not need all that space.”

    What do we stand to lose if we do not appropriately curate collections like his? Neal: “This is a field that allows humanity to build bridges of understanding, so not just a peaceful world to live in but one in which we can all benefit from the very best of humanity. Our intercultural work and materials are the tools for that.”

    “The old saying goes, those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I can’t tell you how many times we have encountered a client or company making the same intercultural mistakes that were being made 25 or 30 years ago. And so, you need to have that history of what works, what doesn’t work and why it worked or did not work.”

    To preserve our collective memory, work, and advancements, it is clear to see the need for a repository with appropriate curation. Even our outgoing president Sandy Fowler is in possession of a valuable collection donated to her by retired colleagues. As such, the pursuit of a solution to this challenge has begun with the objective of finding organizations, institutions, or other places where the longevity of intercultural collections can be assured.

    This article serves as a starting point for a larger discussion on how SIETAR USA as an organization can store, cherish, and make use of donated collections that otherwise may be lost or forgotten. Do you have ideas, suggestions, or solutions? Please contact the editorial team at editor@sietarusa.org to be part of the discussion.

    Dr. Neal Goodman’s own journey as an interculturalist and DEI specialist can be found here as he shares his lessons learned with the SIETAR USA community.

  • 13 Feb 2021 8:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From Executive Diversity Services

    Was Barack Obama really America’s first Black president? There have been questions swirling for decades that former President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s mother was half-Black. Across the pond, people were celebrating that Meghan Markle’s son would be the first baby of color in the monarchy. Yet many believe Queen Charlotte became the first queen with African ancestry in 1761 when she married King George III.

    Charlotte’s racial background was often downplayed, however, and diminished because of the negative associations with having Black ancestry at that time. Evidence of Eisenhower’s African ancestry is still unclear, at least in mainstream or predominantly white-owned media. Sources such as africaresource.com or baltimoreblackwoman.com are not so ambiguous.

    What is clear is that whether it was the 18th century for Queen Charlotte or the 20th for President Eisenhower, African-mixed heritage was something that people who could, might choose to hide. Fast forward to 2020, however, and there are sites like ancestry.com that allow people to claim and add multi-hyphenates to their identities. We have a vice president-elect who is a proud Black and South Asian woman who embraces her racial and ethnic identities and cultural experiences that make her who she is.

    Uncool. Cool. What’s Changed?

    In the past, external discrimination engendered internalized racism and hidden identities. For example:

    In the past, external discrimination engendered internalized racism and hidden identities. For example:

    One Drop Rule: External Discrimination

    Who defines who is Black or not, and how? In 1920 it was the census. According to the “one-drop rule,” which was commonly used in the South, if one had a known “single drop” of Black blood, that person was considered Black. The implications were far-reaching, from ridicule or even torture to second-class citizenship, because of having even one single drop of Black lineage in your DNA.

    Brown Paper Bag Test: Internal Discrimination

    Since the days of slavery, there has long been a so-called rivalry or internalized tension between individuals with a lighter complexion and a darker complexion. The Brown Paper Bag Test is a form of discrimination from within the African American community, by which one’s skin tone is compared to the color of a brown paper bag. The test was a way to decide whether an individual could have certain privileges. If they were lighter than a brown paper bag, they would receive privileges such as admission into certain groups such as clubs, fraternities, and churches. If they were darker, their access would be denied.

    “Passing” for White: Hiding One’s Identity

    For some of Black ancestry, if they could “pass” as white, they would. More than simple advantage, sometimes it was necessary for survival, such as for getting a much-needed job in an industry or location that would otherwise prevent them from being employed. Others might completely disavow their ethnic roots by choice. Some people would even move away from home to start a new life where nobody in their new community would know their “secret.”

    Embracing Your Complete Heritage or Mixed-Identity in 2020

    With the arrivals of Millennials there has been a transformational shift toward embracing one’s individuality and rejecting the idea of having to “pick” a single identity. Tiger Woods notably called himself “Cablinasian,” a word he made up during childhood to try to capture and convey his multiracial heritage, including Thai, African American, Chinese, and European. In 2020, for the first time, the US census form asked respondents who chose white or black for their race to give more information about their origins – for example, German, Lebanese, African American or Somali.

    Certainly, people of color have always embraced their identity. And recently many young Black people have revived the mantra “I’m Black and I’m Proud” reminiscent of the Black Power Movement of the 60’s, in which “The Afro” was seen as a return to Black roots rather than adapting their appearance to fit into predominantly white styles. Hair has long been a hot point for this, as school or work dress codes have been challenged and modified to include more natural styles including dreadlocks or afros. In fact, September 15, 2020 was World Afro Day, designed to end discrimination against Afro hair in schools.

    Gen Y athletes, stars, and online influencers, increasingly of mixed-race backgrounds, are paving the way, embracing their multi-racial, multi-cultural heritage as “cool.”

    Caveat: Is It Only Cool When It’s Convenient?

    Many BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) individuals often feel they must still adapt to dominant culture norms or standards in order to succeed, ignoring and even not acknowledging their own cultural expressions of beauty. Some still perceive that there’s an unwritten accepted level of ethnic showcase that’s “cool,” but only when there’s still an acceptable level of assimilation simultaneously mixed in.

    These Issues Run Deep and Are Complex

    Because these issues are so complex, it’s easy to become overwhelmed when thinking of the impact the country’s history still has on our present, and even more so when wondering how we can shift things for the better, especially in the workplace.

    Public interest lawyer Bryan Stevenson asks the U.S. to “reckon with its racist past and present” for there to be true change. His 2014 memoir is the basis for the recently released movie of the same name, Just Mercy, about the Equal Justice Initiative. Stevenson suggests that the U.S has an unresolved history that has diminished, demoralized, and punished individuals who were not white. And that history must be reconciled and acknowledged for the country to heal and for change to happen.

    What Are Some Moves you Can Make Right Now?

    Acknowledge the reality of our country’s history, even if it’s difficult to face (e.g., slavery, discrimination, and systemic racism)

    Accept how said history has impacted perceptions of people of color and ethnic displays (e.g., someone wearing an evening gown vs. wearing a sari or a gomesi to a company gala)

    Recognize, once more, how said history has impacted BIPOC views of themselves (e.g., desire to “pass” for white, code-switching to fit in) and in turn impacts the way they have to “behave” in the world and workplace.

    Actively look for opportunities to look through a different perspective. Notice the thoughts you have about someone. Are you “othering” them? Are you making negative assumptions or associations based on what you see?

    Systemic change can only be accomplished by being intentional in efforts to grow inclusion, both organizationally and individually.

    Reprinted with permission from the Executive Diversity Services Blog: https://www.executivediversity.com/2020/12/28/first-black-president-in-us/

<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   ...   Next >  Last >> 

Contact Us
P.O. Box 548
Wheaton, IL 60187-4729


Wild Apricot theme design and development by Webbright