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  • 16 May 2021 8:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Brett Parry

    Conference Excitement!

    Over the past few months, a whole team of dedicated people have been working feverishly in the background on planning this year’s SIETAR USA National conference. Many times in the past we’ve all felt the eager anticipation of seeing our dear esteemed colleagues and friends face to face. This time of course, those feelings have even more meaning.  

    I attended my first SIETAR USA conference in 2014, so compared to so many others I am kind of a newbie. I have not missed one since. I added to this the experience of traveling twice to the SIETAR Europa Congress events that took place in Dublin, Ireland and Leuven, Belgium. I have enjoyed so many wonderful conversations and learning moments, without which I would not have the joy of doing the intercultural work I do today.  

    This year’s conference in Omaha Nebraska will feature the same rich variety of workshops, presentations, and other events we’ve all come to expect, along with a few delightful surprises as always. If you have not had the chance to experience attending a SIETAR conference in the past, please consider doing so this year. The community of Intercultural and DEI professionals would be honored to welcome you and learn from the inclusion of your perspectives. 

    We are seeing the world open up gradually to a new future. While that comes with much positive anticipation, it is also tinged with the realization that deep inequities still exist in our societies. Our work has never been more important, our own learning never more needed. Much of that learning can be found when we come together as an inclusive, brave, and intentional community of passionate souls. Any gaps in representation can be as damaging as a weak link in a chain.

    Brett Parry,
    President, SIETAR USA

  • 16 May 2021 8:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     There was a time, and not all that long ago, Americans were so ignorant about Japan, its culture and society, it would be no exaggeration to say many thought this country (its age measured in millennia) could be summed up as a land of geisha and manga, anime and sushi.

    This was highlighted for me the time my son, returning to our home in central Japan after spending a month at a summer camp in Pennsylvania, told me: “We have to learn about the United States, but American kids don’t have to learn anything about Japan.” Then in junior high school, he declared it was “unfair”. He went on to amuse me with stories of his fellow campers confusing Japan with China and Korea, asking him to do a “karate chop”, and wanting to know if he knew any samurai or ninja.

    Unquestionably, this ignorance goes both ways, and in my four decades living in Japan I’ve had numerous occasions to dispel misconceptions and disabuse friends and neighbors of the notion America is all Hollywood and hamburgers.

    When asked what’s the biggest change I see in Japan since arriving here in 1975, I don’t hesitate before answering: There are many more foreigners. They’re not in my rural neighborhood, but when I venture forth, to the shopping center or, perhaps the bank, it’s possible I’ll see one. Whereas years earlier we would’ve accosted one another (“Hello! Do you speak English? Where do you work? Come to my house for lunch!”) these days everyone is as cool as you please.

    No longer do you need to know the kanji (Chinese characters) for ‘withdrawal’ and ‘deposit’ at the ATM, the instructions are in English; acceptance, at last, of English as an international language. And signs in Portuguese acknowledge the many Brazilians of Japanese descent who in recent years have made this area of Japan their home. The linguistic assistance now offered is not so much a concession as a recognition Japan has crossed a bridge: foreigners living in Japanese communities are not as unusual as they once were.

    Naturally, it’s a necessity of communication to have a handle on the language of the country where you live. Nevertheless, it must be noted that in Japan, where so much that is ‘said’ is not spoken, even if you’re fluent in Japanese you may not be aware of all that transpires. Many a hapless foreigner has found, to their dismay, failure to observe and pay attention to cues that are non-verbal has resulted in failure to communicate. Then there are the modes of behavior and rules; some are written, codified almost as in stone, but many are not. As a consequence, it is guaranteed you will have done the wrong, improper thing, any number of times. Even after all these years, I sometimes cringe when I think, in retrospect, of some misstep I’ve made. And it’s rare to be corrected. Often that’s out of politeness, but also because a foreigner is not expected to know. We are, after all, considered “gaijin” (literally: outside person).

    But one does not always want to be considered on the outside; it’s nice to be let in, allowed to cross the two-way street. It was with welcome relief that the foreign residence card was changed from “Alien Registration” to “Residence Card”. We appreciate not being thought of as so strange, certainly not “alien”.

    Ordinary encounters also point to the current acceptance of foreigners’ in Japanese society. I often buy vegetables from a stand operated by local farmers. I like that none of these old farmers ever asks me if I know how to prepare goya (bitter melon). They express no curiosity when I put a large bunch of shiso (perilla) in my basket and seem to assume that if I buy mitsuba (trefoil) I’ll know what to do with it.

    And I see it is through everyday relations that I and my fellows who live cross-culturally are called upon to do our part to maintain this two-way street. For example, in Japan, where the majority of the populace avails themselves of an excellent public transportation system, manners considered common are adhered to. That means no feet on the seats, no speaking in loud voices or talking on cell phones. It goes without saying if you have a cough or sniffle, you’ll wear a mask. You stand in line and wait your turn, whether at a bus stop or receiving rationed water after an earthquake. It’s rare to see graffiti, and the everyday sight of a New Yorker walking down the street eating a slice of pizza or a hot dog does not happen here. Adults walking and eating is not just seen as gauche but screams “I’m a barbarian!”

    Yes, as foreigners, we’re required to pay attention and respect the norms of other cultures. But if we were to be castigated every time we slipped up, it would ensure there could never be an entry into other societies, no chance for cultural exchange. This two-way street that requires maintenance, also requires mutual goodwill to remain open.

    Karen Hill Anton wrote the column “Crossing Cultures” for The Japan Times for fifteen years. Her memoir The View From Breast Pocket Mountain is the winner of the SPR Book Awards Gold Prize, and the Book Readers Association Group Medallion. Originally from New York City, Karen has lived in rural Japan since 1975.   KarenHillAnton.com


    goya or nigauri: Bitter melon or bitter gourd. This vegetable, true to its name, is inedible if not properly prepared. A regular part of the Okinawan diet, it’s said to be the reason Okinawans are among the longest lived people in the world.

    shiso: Variously called beefsteak plant or beefsteak leaf, is an herb in the mint family – but does not taste anything like mint. Some say the taste is similar to basil, and indeed it can be served in place of basil for the classic Italian Caprese salad of tomatoes and mozzarella. The red variety of shiso (akajiso) is never eaten raw.

    mitsuba: The name translates as “three leaf”. Trefoil is also called Japanese honeywort, Japanese chervil, and Japanese parsley. Can be added as garnish for light soups and is indispensable for the Japanese savory egg custard dish chawanmushi.

  • 16 May 2021 8:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This month your Book Review Editor is indulging himself, not writing a review but a short article. There is a connection to books, however, as this article reflects on an entire genre of books (and movies, too), namely science fiction, and considers how this genre relates to the intercultural field. Not to worry, meanwhile; next month we’ll be back with a good book.

    Imagining the Other

    Many years ago, as a recently minted English Lit major, I had a dark secret: while I deeply appreciated Chaucer, Austen, Thackeray, and all the other notables, I also really liked science fiction, books and movies. But this was so low brow, shameful, and otherwise beneath me, I had to hide this from my peers. Then, years later, I discovered the intercultural field and began to practice in it, and suddenly it was all OK because what is the intercultural field but the attempt to understand the Other? And is not that also one of the major themes of science fiction?

    Granted, our Other is not an alien species, a creature from a distant planet, or a citizen of a parallel galaxy. Nor is the intercultural Other out to destroy the earth, wipe out the human race, or otherwise cause a great deal of inconvenience. But in some ways the intercultural Other does come from another world, is alien in many of its values and behaviors—just as we are alien from its point of view—and in some cases can even be threatening. So I decided that my love of science fiction was completely respectable after all, especially for an interculturalist.

    And then I began to notice something odd: in nearly all the depictions of the Other in science fiction books and films, there was always something distinctly and recognizably human. Here is how I put this in a new edition of my book The Art of Crossing Cultures

    The capacity of the average person to fully conceive of the “other” has always been greatly exaggerated. It is interesting in this context, and also quite instructive, to reflect on so-called science fiction, on the people who are in the business of creating Not Us. Even these people, whose job it is to imagine the “other,” aren’t very successful. Who doesn’t know the famous bar scene in the film Star Wars, where Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobe, and Chewbacca visit a local watering hole in search of an experienced pilot. The place is teeming with a wondrous variety of extraterrestrial bad guys. But when you think about it, they’re not really that extraterrestrial. Oh, they may have a second head, some additional arms, and more eyes than you or I have, but that’s just it: they have more of these attributes (or sometimes fewer) but they don’t have different attributes, something instead of heads, arms, and eyes. They’re just variations on a theme—humans—but not a new piece of music. Nor have the filmmakers come up with anything new, anything nonhuman, for these guys to do. They’re just doing what guys like them everywhere do, apparently even in other galaxies: knocking back a few at the local neighborhood hangout. Not even George Lucas and Steven Spielberg can conceive of nonhuman behavior; there are no models. Most of us even conceive of animals in human terms, explaining their behavior exclusively in reference to our own.

    The old proverb notwithstanding, we cannot put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. Or, more accurately, we can, but it’s still our own feet that we feel.

    Naturally, this made me wonder about our field. Is it really that easy to conceive of and truly understand the Other? Are we really any better at this than most novelists and film makers? Or are we mostly just fooling ourselves? This is our bread and butter, after all, identifying cultural differences, making others aware of those differences, and generally helping people understand other people who are not like them.

    Don’t get me wrong: It’s a noble effort, a worthwhile undertaking, and a just cause. But perhaps we should approach it with more humility and not claim too much for our findings. Maybe we should be careful not to give people the impression that we have actually figured out and really do understand people who are not like us. We should say, rather, that here are some ways we and others may differ and admit that in the end the only person we really understand is our self. Just a thought.

    I mean if Lucas and Spielberg can’t do it…


  • 16 May 2021 7:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    First, let me say THANK YOU to all of you who have submitted proposals to present at the conference.  An initial review indicates that there is a great deal of interesting, innovative and inspiring work going on out there and SIETAR USA members who are eager to share it with you.  I am really encouraged to see so many great proposals.  The Program Chairs will have more highlights to share with you next month. For now, I will just assure you that you are not going to want to miss the Mind, Culture, Society conference this October in Omaha.  If you submitted a proposal, you will hear from the Program Committee soon regarding your proposal and next steps to prepare for the conference.

    Upcoming newsletters in June, and July/August will feature keynote speakers, master workshop presenters, as well as special events being planned for the conference and ways that you may contribute or take part. 

    Here are a couple deadlines and aspects of the conference to keep in mind.

    Scholarships:  The applications for scholarships are OPEN.  If you are a student in an IC or DEI course of study or a new non-profit person wanting to find out about SIETAR USA and connect with other scholars and practitioners in the field - this is a great way to get involved.  Submit your application today.  Deadline is July 31st. 

    SPONSORING, EXHIBITING, and ADVERTISING.  Yes, Indeed, this is part of what makes the wheels turn and the bus keep going. It is also a great way to demonstrate your commitment to intercultural competence and diversity, equity, and inclusion in your organization, city, community. Be recognized among the leaders in the field. Share your tools and training opportunities with those who are making a difference today. Advertise your certification and accreditation programs to those actively engaged in enhancing their skills to do this important work.  Contact Karen Fouts, SIETAR USA Administrative Director or fill out the form on the conference website to secure your place as a SIETAR USA supporter. 


    We are happy to announce that our registration rates for 2021 will not be increasing from our last in-person conference two years ago in Atlanta.  In fact, we have been able to lower the rates by $10.  Full registration details are available on the website and registration will be open within the next couple of weeks.  Watch for the announcement soon.

    HOTEL reservations:  The conference will take place at the Omaha Hilton Hotel, adjacent to the Conference Center. An ideal location, and a great hotel. We have been able to secure a fabulous rate at the Hilton for our conference attendees.  Just $109 per night, per room (plus tax and fees).  There is also a reduced parking rate for conference attendees for those of you who will be driving to Omaha.  The hotel block will be open with registration until September 15th.  After that time the rate or room availability will no longer be guaranteed.  We therefore advise you to book your room early so that you are guaranteed that great rate.  Remember, once the room block has been utilized, you may not be able to get that rate, but will have to pay the best available rate at the time of booking. 

    SIGs:  Yes, SIGs (Special Interest Groups) are returning to SIETAR USA.  See the full article in this newsletter for further information.  What SIG do you want to start or join?  Remember, SIGs need advocates to function.  Their existence is totally dependent on the actions of their members.  It’s all about you. 

    Traveling and Meeting Safely. 

    Despite the impressive and highly successful vaccination efforts throughout the US it is understandable that people continue to have concerns about the safety and security of traveling and meeting in groups at this time.  Covid-19 can cause serious illness and should not be taken lightly by anyone. The goal of the current administration is to have 70%+ of the population vaccinated by July 1st and hopefully closer to 80% by October when we will be meeting. That is reassuring but is not all that we must do.  In addition, we must take care personally and transportation and accommodation facilities must do their part as well.  Please take a moment to look at the attached presentations that details all that the Hilton is doing to ensure the safety of their guests and our conference attendees. From the airport transfers to the high contact areas in your room and meeting rooms, they are taking great care to make the spaces in which we will be interacting safe.  Menus and serving protocols have been changed, seating arrangements altered, and sanitization centers created throughout the hotel as well as a contactless check-in and check-out processes instituted are a few of the strategies in the Hilton’s Clean Stay and Event Ready program.  In addition, we are paying attention to seating arrangements in plenaries as well as breakout rooms, registration protocols, and social events at the conference.  We do believe that if we all do our part that we can have a safe in-person experience.  However, we will continue to monitor the situation and if necessary, we will make changes.  

  • 16 May 2021 7:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    “Beautiful architecture blends with memories of a time gone by at The Durham Museum. Making its home in one of Omaha’s most unique treasures, Union Station, The Durham Museum offers a fascinating look at the history of the region and offers a broad range of traveling exhibits covering subjects ranging from history and culture, to science, industry and more through an affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution and strong ties with the Library of Congress, National Archives and the Field Museum.” To learn more visit: https://durhammuseum.org/

    You might be wondering how Union Station was transformed into a Museum. In 1971, the Union Pacific Railroad closed Union Station after the establishment of Amtrak. It was suggested in a letter by John Edward Peterson that “maybe the Union Pacific would be willing to sell the station rather cheaply or even donate it.” The station was indeed donated to the City of Omaha in 1973 and two years later opened as the Western Heritage Museum. Charles and Margre Durham largely funded a 22 million dollar renovation project so the city changed the name to the Durham Western Heritage Museum but in 2008, it was renamed the Durham Museum.

     You can expect to see numismatist Byron Reed’s coin collection. “The coins are displayed in beautiful dark wooden cases that give the visitors the sense they are part of the exhibit. It gave me the feeling I was back in the 1880s sitting in Byron Reed's library examining his coins with him. The exhibit includes an abundance of historical information on Byron Reed and the times. I know visitors will be impressed with the quality of the exhibit and the magnificence of the coins displayed."[5] Donated to the City of Omaha upon Reed's death, today the collection is housed at the Durham Museum.”

    If coins are not your thing, be sure to check out the Trish and Dick Davidson Gallery on Track Level. That Gallery has a variety of transportation and commerce exhibits. Bekins Moving & Storage restored 1922 Mack flatbed truck and wall displays tell the story of one of Omaha's great companies. Buffett Grocery Store replica store front of the original Buffett Grocery Store that opened in 1915. Drew's Antiques are some of the finest antiques from the Museum's collections. O Scale Model Train has layout with a depot and diorama that represents Union Pacific's double track main line from Omaha to Ogden during the 1950s.

    The following train cars and locomotives are on display:



  • 16 May 2021 7:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    SIGs used to be an active part of the SIETAR structure. SIETAR USA had several lively SIGs such as the Simulation Gaming SIG that organized Simulation Games Night. This SIG also developed a Code of Ethical Debriefing for Simulation Games. The Pride Across Cultures SIG had as their mission to provide a forum for LGBTQAI+ and straight members of SIETAR to educate each other and the wider SIETAR community about issues related to LGBTQAI+ culture in the workplace and across cultures. There was also a SIG for LatinX members and a SIG comprising language educators who explored the nexus between language, culture, and worldview. All the SIGs made sure that there was at least one concurrent session at each conference that addressed their issues.

    The compelling reason to bring back SIGs is because they offer a time and space in which SIETAR USA members and guests at the conference can come together in small groips to discuss common interests, issues, and goals. One important element in forming and maintaining a SIG is to have a champion who is willing to step up and be a communication conduit for the SIG. The SIG leader makes sure that their SIG is represented within SIETAR USA’s conference planning. Some SIGs meet at various times throughout the year. Others choose to meet only at the conference. It is truly up to each SIG to decide what kind of structure and activity level fits them best.

    At past conferences we have had a SIG lunch when people could sit together to discuss their shared interests. This can be challenging with all the other discussions going on around them so, we know that more dedicated time and space are needed. Therefore, this year, the Conference Planners have included a SIG Hour in the schedule for people who are interested in forming a SIG to find each other and make preliminary plans. Consider attending this lively hour prior to the Opening Ceremony to find old and new friends and be creative as you put together a SIG of your choice. Next year, we will find a way to have the SIGs meet virtually since the whole conference will be virtual. And at the next in-person conference, you will find we’ve reserved a room of your own for you to meet again. Watch for more information on SIGs in September prior to the conference.

    To make this work, SIETAR USA seeks a Volunteer Coordinator to help plan and coordinate SIG meetings, formation, and registration. If you would be interested, please contact the Conference Oversight Director at conferenceoversight@sietarusa.org

  • 16 May 2021 7:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Did you ever consider that the SIETAR USA Master Workshops are continuing education for intercultural and DEI professionals? How do you expand your repertoire? Learn about advances in research? Spend time with experts in the field?

    Master Workshops have been part of SIETAR USA conferences since the beginning. They started out being called Pre-Conference Workshops until we realized that we were able to tap into the expertise of longtime intercultural educators, trainers, and researchers. At that point, we changed the name to reflect our goal of finding the experts whose career foci fit the Master Workshop program. Each year the Master Workshop Coordinators are tasked with recruiting people who are especially representative of a topic or method. They look for trainers who developed programs or conducted research on particularly relevant issues. The Master Workshop leaders are chosen because they are known in the intercultural and DEI fields for their expertise.

    We also pay attention to the diversity of both trainers and topics. Gender, race, background, experience are all taken into consideration as we organize the list of Master Workshops each year. For 2021, we have one of our best arrays of workshops from which to choose. Education, leadership, healing, training techniques are all part of the mix. We provide the list at this time so you can be considering which one sparks your attention. Please note! A complete list with expanded descriptions, bios, and pictures of the Master Workshop leaders is available in the conference section of the SIETAR USA website.

    Master Workshops 2021

    Breadth-Depth Tensions in Intercultural Learning and Equity-Minded Pedagogy in Higher Education: Dr. Kris Acheson-Clair & Nastasha E. Johnson

    In this hands-on workshop, we will work together to generate possibilities for scaling up intercultural learning and equity-minded pedagogy to all areas across universities and all levels of organizational structures.

    Dr. Kris Acheson-Clair earned a PhD in Intercultural Communication from Arizona State University in 2008. At Purdue, she now directs the Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment and Research (CILMAR) and holds a courtesy faculty position in the Brian Lamb School of Communication.

    Nastasha E. Johnson is Associate Professor of Library Science at Purdue University Libraries & School of Information Studies. She also serves as a Provost Fellow in the Office of the Provost, Division of Diversity & Inclusion and an Intercultural Learning Officer for the Center of Intercultural Learning, Mentoring, Assessment, and Research (CILMAR).

    Global Leadership Effectiveness: An Interactive Workshop in Developing Strategies That Work for You and Your Clients: Dr. Deborah Pembleton & Dr. Karen Lokkesmoe

    In this workshop, we will explore global leadership and global competency models outlining core competencies as well as engaging in activities whereby participants can identify strategies for their own global competency development or that of their clients and trainees.

    Dr. Deborah J. Pembleton is an Associate Professor in the Global Business Leadership Department and Director of the Asian Studies Program at the College of St. Benedict / St. John’s University (CSBSJU). Her professional affiliations include membership in the Academy of Management and the Management Organizational Behavior Society.

    Dr. Karen J. Lokkesmoe though officially retired, continues to work as an intercultural and leadership development trainer with scholars and organizations around the world.  In her work with the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program she has worked with hundreds of leaders from over 80 countries. Her particular interest is how one builds leadership capacity for those working in global or culturally diverse settings.

    Intercultural Playground: Creative Experiential Approaches to Facilitate Learning and Connection: Dr. Basma Ibrahim DeVries & Jon DeVries

    This highly interactive workshop engages participants in several unique intercultural learning activities (related to diverse communication styles, cultural values and dimensions, barriers to inclusion) and includes discussion on adaptations for specific training goals.

    Dr. Basma Ibrahim DeVries is a professor of Communication Studies at Concordia University in Minnesota, a faculty member at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication, and an intercultural and DEI trainer and consultant.

    Jon DeVries is an intercultural trainer and consultant specializing in Intercultural Competence Development, Leadership Development, Team Building and Training Design with a background in Experiential Education and Adult Learning Theories.

    Intercultural Creativity for Collective Healing: Tatyana Fertelmeyster, LCPC & Marie Sheffield, LCPC

    This Master Workshop will focus on the deepening of facilitation skills for those who work at the intersection of intercultural and diversity. Incorporating environments of care and wellbeing, understanding of trauma and traditions of collective healing, intentional presence and creativity will encourage participants to experience new horizons of the profession.

    Tatyana Fertelmeyster, LCPC, is a Founder and Principal of Connecting Differences, LLC, intercultural consultant, trainer, and coach with background and extensive experience in mental health. Tatyana is a past-president of SIETAR USA and had been a long-time faculty member at the Summer, Winter, and Qatar Institutes for Intercultural Communication.

    Marie Sheffield, LCPC is a licensed clinical counselor and art therapist working in the field of collective trauma and collective healing. With two decades as an intercultural team leader for the Intercultural Community Peer Support Program, and Intercultural Advisory Council, at the Center for Grieving Children (CGC) in Portland, Maine, Marie also completed a fellowship with the Intercultural Communication Institute.

    Opening up the World Through Multi-Media! Shelley Morrison & Barbara Galyen

    In this highly interactive workshop, we “focus on films” (excuse the pun), plus other multi-media sources as valuable tools for intercultural training. We include movies, TV series, documentaries, film shorts, animated shorts, plus advertising and infomercials.

    Shelley Morrison is an experienced educator, coach, trainer, and facilitator. Her firm, Shelley Morrison Associates (SMA), provides consulting and training in leadership, marketing, negotiations, communication, and intercultural relations for corporate, non-profit, and higher education clients.

    Barbara Galyen is a recognized leader in the fields of Crossing Cultures and Global Leadership. She delivers a wide range of consulting, facilitating, training and coaching services worldwide to corporate, non-profit, United Nations, and education arenas.

    How to use Theatre as a Tool for Intercultural Understanding: Kelli McLoud-Schingen

    This interactive workshop  will explore using theatre and story as ways to open connections with others and equip participants with a new tool for their work.

    Kelli McLoud-Schingen is Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the University of Tulsa and President of KMS Intercultural Consulting. She is a Global Diversity and Inclusion Specialist with over 30 years’ experience in the Diversity and Intercultural Fields.  Kelli is a global citizen who specializes in healing racism, cross-cultural competence, conflict resolution/mediation, storytelling, and inclusive leadership.

    Impact! High Leverage Interventions for Culture Change: joe gerstandt

    Informed by “Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System,” by Donella Meadows, this session will begin with a conversation about leverage, the power (and leverage) of paradigm change, and the need to change the organizational paradigm regarding diversity, inclusion, and equity. We will then explore common language, narrative and story-telling, individual development, and behavioral expectations as tools for paradigm change, and how to use these tools to get as much possible impact from our efforts.

    Dr. joe gerstandt is a speaker, author and advisor on organizational diversity and inclusion efforts. He serves on the Intersectional Culture and Diversity Advisory (ICD) Council for the social networking platform, Twitter, has served on the U.S. Technical Advisory Group’s Diversity and Inclusion Working Group within the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and is currently on the board of directors for the Tri-Faith Initiative.


    1. Breadth-Depth Tensions in Intercultural Learning and Equity-Minded Pedagogy in Higher Education. Kris Acheson-Clair & Nastasha E. Johnson.
    2. Global Leadership Effectiveness: An Interactive Workshop in Developing Strategies That Work for You and Your Clients.   Deborah Pembleton & Karen Lokkesmoe. 
    3. Intercultural Playground: Creative Experiential Approaches to Facilitate Learning and Connection.   Basma Ibrahim DeVries & Jon DeVries.
    4. Intercultural Creativity for Collective Healing.   Tatyana Fertelmeyster, LCPC & Marie Sheffield, LCPC.
    5. Opening up the World Through Multi-Media!   Shelley Morrison & Barbara Gaylen
    6. How to use Theatre as a Tool for Intercultural Understanding.  Kelli McLoud-Schingen.
    7. Impact! High Leverage Interventions for Culture Change. joe verstandt.


  • 16 May 2021 7:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Centre for Global Inclusion recently released the 2021 Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Benchmarks (GDEIB): Standards for Organizations Around the World. The nearly 100-page document features 275 benchmarks across 15 categories and 5 levels. Written by Nene Molefi, Julie O’Mara, and Alan Richter, PhD, the GDEIB is updated annually using a consensus process with 112 Expert Panelists from around the globe (Download the full document here.)

    All this is to say that there are best practices in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) that are globally universal. Start with an assessment to inform your DEI business case; develop your DEI vision and strategy and align it to your organizational goals; communicate your DEI goals across the organization; consider all stakeholders, both internal and external facing.

    With all this universal alignment in theory, you would think a single solution could apply to a company’s entire workforce. However, when approaching global training for US based companies, it’s in the application of DEI best practices where you need…a little DEI.

    Here are three reasons why your global DEI rollout needs to be localized.

    1.   The historical/cultural context is different from country to country.

    Requests for DEI training have increased tenfold in the US over the past year. Divisive rhetoric leading up to the election; high profile shootings of people of color by police, racial inequities in healthcare, education, jobs and more were pushed to the forefront during the pandemic, as communities of color were more negatively impacted on all these indicators. This exposure of systemic inequities fueled commitment from top leadership at corporations of all sizes to drive change.

    Overseas teams, on the other hand, will often say “we don’t have the same racial issues as in the United States.” In Europe, the growing critical need for DEI initiatives is in response to record migration. Rather than long-rooted history that needs reconciling, Europe has seen a significant rise in refugees seeking asylum. “The sheer force of flow has broken down systems that were in place to integrate immigrants and help them settle,” says George Simons, a longtime leader in cross-cultural communication and global management. Then, “in a country like South Korea, which is mostly a monocultural society, gender will be a bigger focus,” Simons adds.

    Trainers in the classroom (virtual or in person) will want to be sensitive to context. For example, race-theory based training drawn on US systems will not adapt to other countries who do not experience the same history. An approach built on how culture and identity influences values, behaviors and communication styles may have broader application.

    2.    Different dimensions of diversity are more resonant.

    Review of Gardenswartz and Rowe’s four dimensions of identity is a good conversation starter for DEI workshop participants to explore the layers of diversity that contribute to the workplace. In the US, the challenge is often to help participants look beyond the Internal Dimensions of identity such as race, gender and ethnicity.

    In the European context, External Dimensions may be more at the forefront. Geographic location as relates to nationality and possible language barriers, or religion, with the influx of refugees, will influence regional priorities. Solutions need to be localized to respond to the dynamics within each country or office teams in different parts of the world.

    3.  Logistical details related to global operations must still be addressed.

    There’s a sense of urgency around DEI movements in the US right now connected to the urgent need for social change. That said, while looking at the broader organizational picture, don’t discount logistical annoyances when working globally.

    For example, if the US-based finance department sends an edict at 10 am in San Francisco, that all receipts need to be in by end of day, or you won’t get reimbursed…colleagues in Paris who are long gone from the office will either miss out or be scrambling to comply. Likewise, is your US based help-desk available at hours and languages that match your global operations?  

    Finding Balance

    Leaders of global entities are faced with delivering constant and thoughtful experiences to employees across various regions. The challenge is to find the balance between things that are consistent and standardized, while also ensuring that content and approach resonates with people in different continents. A thorough DEI assessment and strategy at the outset will pave the way.

    While layering in best practices, an effective approach to DEI will be customized to a company’s specific needs and challenges. And that is true whether a company is based entirely in one country or spread around the globe. Partnering with leaders with culture and country specific experience can help.

    SIETAR USA is grateful to EDS for sharing their thoughts with us and allowing us to publish them in The Interculturalist: A Periodical of SIETAR USA.

  • 16 May 2021 7:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Pandemic has made many of us think about losses as our lives have changed over the past year. We have lived with restrictions such as closed restaurants, hair salons, and social gatherings. We have missed family celebrations and graduations. As professionals who spend a lot of time traveling—especially internationally—that part of our lives shut down early in the time of Covid 19. The hardest losses have been friends, colleagues, loved ones. These losses are hard no matter when they happen, but the virus seemed to amplify death perhaps because we were reminded so often each day in the news. One positive outcome of the virus is that we have been able to virtually attend memorial services and celebrations of life, which likely would not have happened prior to the pandemic.

    SIETAR USA has lost a Board member (Sherri Tapp) and a beloved past president (Andy Reynolds). Like many SIETAR USA members I’ve talked with, I have lost several close friends who have passed away in recent months. I heard from a friend that when we lose a person to death, the person is gone but the relationship remains. I had to think about that to decide if I agreed. It is often true that when the person was alive communication was spotty. We communicated fairly frequently, but sometimes with long gaps in between. Even with the gaps, I still considered the person a friend or loved one and valued the relationship that we had created. So, it makes a certain sense that the relationship was alive even when we were not in frequent contact.

    A friendship can be seen to comprise 3 entities: you, the other, and the relationship itself. Does that mean the relationship can live on even though the person is gone? You can no longer pick up the phone for a call or send an email and expect a response. But is that all a friendship is? (And I think that the luckiest among us are the ones who are in positive contact with their family members.) Isn’t friendship also about the feelings and the experience of the other person and the memories of good times together? I have found it comforting with recent losses to remember that we had connected as two human beings, enjoyed our time together, and I do feel that the relationship is, in a way, indeed still there.

    The SIETAR USA webinar in June features Daniel Yalowitz who just published Reflections on the Nature of Friendship. He writes: “Friendships offer clues to our deeper inner and outer selves. They are manifestation of our values as well as our priorities. And they provide tremendous information about our hopes, dreams, struggles, affirmations, and challenges.” I began writing this message thinking it was about loss and realize now that it isn’t about loss but rather it is about living and remembering and connecting. To all my SIETAR friends, I want to say how much you have enriched my life. Thank you!

    Sandy Fowler

    Editor The Interculturalist: A Periodical of SIETAR USA

  • 16 May 2021 7:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Zoom Webinar - Eastern Time Zone
    Date: 09 Jun 2021 11:00 AM (Eastern Time)

    In this webinar, Daniel Yalowitz will unearth and explore the multifaceted, endlessly fascinating, and delightfully complex experience of human friendship.  Just as no two people are alike, neither are any two friendships.   He will lead participants through an examination of some of the many universal considerations of friendship based on his years of intercultural research and the recent publication of his book, Reflections on the Nature of Friendship

    Dr. Yalowitz will focus on the following considerations with regard to developing a deeper understanding of friendship:

    • What do rubber bands, timepieces, and portals have in common with friendship?
    • Why do we choose the people to become our friends?
    • How can conflict be healthy for a friendship?
    • Into Me You See: What is the art of intimacy in friendship?
    • How can we burnish and harvest the gold in friendship?
    • In the Age of COVID, what has changed and what hasn’t regarding friendship?

    After his presentation, Daniel will respond to participants’ questions and reflections. Join us for a fascinating journey into a world we all know from our life experience yet must learn far more to heighten and deepen this amazing adventure.

    To register: On the Art and Nature of Friendship

    Registration = FREE for current SIETAR USA members in good standing

    Registration = $25.00 for nonmembers

    About the Presenter

    Daniel Cantor Yalowitz, Ed.D.,is a developmental and intercultural psychologist. He was a member and on the Governing Council for SIETAR International, chaired the international Simulation and Games Committee from 1988-2000, and has been involved in various roles with SIETAR USA intermittently since then.  Following a career as a faculty member and senior academic administrator at colleges and universities throughout the United States, Daniel is now an international consultant and trainer focusing on community- and team-building, social/emotional/multiple intelligences, conflict transformation, and intercultural communication and competence. He has published three books to date and serves as the Executive Director, Principal, and Creativity Maven for DCY Consulting, based in Greenfield, Massachusetts.

    For more information and to register:
    On the Art and Nature of Friendship

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