The 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.