So much has happened in the past month—actually, the past few weeks—that is painful to take in and process meaningfully. The George Floyd tragic death (and the list is so much longer than Mr. Floyd) has led to a powerful uprising in many countries of the world, but especially the United States. SIETAR USA has published our stand on racism that we include in this newsletter for those of you who have not yet seen it. In addition, our President Elect, Brett Parry shared an equity statement with a look to the future. People working on the conference had to take a break to process their own emotional reactions to the recent events. However, you will find in this issue that we have many more details available regarding the dates, schedule, and content of some of the proposals we have received.
The Intercultural and DEI Community is a diverse group. We are united more by a common future than common pasts. Recently, however, we have all had to endure a pandemic that shut down travel, congregating, hugs. We have also been stirred to action by the events in Minneapolis and throughout the country and the world. While all this has been going on, many people have been working overtime to prepare a virtual conference for you—an experience you don’t want to miss! When we determined the theme for the conference (Moving Ahead: Learning from a Global Crisis) we hadn’t expected that “global crisis” would expand to include both the pandemic and the protests against racial injustice. In response, SIETAR USA leadership has planned a members-only Town Hall style event where we can join in conversation to be together in support and to hear about members’ concerns. Justin Sitron and Kelli McLoud-Schingen will co-host the Town Hall meeting
What else is in this issue of The Interculturalist? In addition to articles on racial injustice and our virtual conference, this newsletter is a rich collection of information and news. We include a recipe of the month from Antimo Cimino. When you read the story behind his lasagna you will better understand the relationship Italians have with food. We discovered that readers have indeed been writing to us and we included a number of their comments in the Readers Write Us section. A Canadian colleague sent a thoughtful article on Culture and COVID-19. Carolyn Ryffel shared information about the webinars for the rest of the year. A Bookmarks guest editor, David Sanford wrote a thoughtful review of the intercultural classic The Silent Language by E.T. Hall. Patti Digh’s article on Moving from Models to Liberation.
I hope you enjoy each and every article. But mostly I hope you stay safe and healthy. I treasure our community and want the best for everyone who is part of it.
Sandra M. Fowler, President