November. Shifting Paradigms Using Cultural Assets in Ensley: The developmental webinar for November features Bettina Byrd-Giles, Interculturalist, Health Equity Expert and Community Change Agent. She will share with us her real world application of interculturalism and DEI concepts and principles in changing the culture of a local community in the Birmingham, AL area. As CEO of the local health care center Bettina partnered with local artists and business people to re-brand and rejuvenate the community using intercultural techniques and storytelling especially highlighting the local jazz heritage. Her projects often combine her health care expertise and cultural competence development such as a program for data collectors in the University of Alabama hospital system to improve their interviewing skill through increased cultural competence. This program incorporated the IDI. Bettina’s international interests starting with her BA in international relations from the University of Virginia include active participation in Birmingham’s Sister Cities program. Additionally, she founded Diversity University, a cross-cultural program involving six colleges and universities.
December: In December we will immerse ourselves in art and how to use art as a tool for cultural understanding and dialogue with Fanchon Silberstein, author of Art inSight: Understanding Art and Why It Matters. (See book review and interview in the February newsletter.) This webinar provides us the advantage of going with Fanchon deeper into pieces of art featured in her book and enhancing our cultural competence through learning to dialogue with the artist and the piece of art itself. The insights in the book are the culmination of living outside of the US as a foreign service spouse, serving as a member of the faculty of SIIC and decades as a docent at the Smithsonian’s Hirschhorn Gallery. Fanchon might even share her writing process and the process for finding a publisher—hint: it requires tons of tenacity.