Welcome to: THE INTERCULTURALIST: A PERIODICAL OF SIETAR USA

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  • 15 Nov 2021 6:59 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Editor’s Note: A version of this article was published in the American Psychologist September 2021 issue. For 23 years, I was the Art Co-Editor for the American Psychologist (AP), finding fine art for the cover and writing an 800+ word essay based on interviews with the artists. Much as I loved this gig, my art co-editor died this past Spring, we were a great team, and I decided that the time had come to pass on the baton. The December issue of AP will be my last. Since Dianne Hofner Saphiere is well known to many SIETAR USA members, I felt that this could be of interest to those who have followed her career and used and enjoyed her books, simulation games, and most especially her series: Cultural Detective. In recent years, Dianne has turned her total attention and energy to her photography.

    Walking in Ambiguity

    by Dianne Hofner Saphiere

    Portions of the following are based on an interview with the artist on June 17, 2021

    three women walking away from camera

    The image of the 3 women is an example of a time when life can get confusing and push you a bit off balance. The artist had been photographing the Ferris wheel and fireworks at Chicago’s Navy Pier and needed to take a pedestrian tunnel to get to the other side of a busy highway. It was a journey through the dark night into the light of the tunnel that produced sudden sensory overload. The tunnel was a cacophony of noise from the traffic above, rainbow colors lined up with intensity on the side walls, the lights on the messy overhead ceiling were exceedingly bright and had attracted a cloud of bugs. She immediately captured this powerful experience with her camera.

    When Saphiere started working on this image in Light Room, she saw a pretty little, inner-city tunnel with some rainbow colors and a few people. The viewer is entering the tunnel image behind the women. Light Room, like Adobe Photo Shop and others, is where a photographer can manipulate images electronically just as they were done much earlier in a dark room with chemicals. It is a stage in the process where many creative insights occur—this artist referred to it as “painting” her photographic images. Creating the final image is a series of decisions. Saphiere blurred the walls and floor making the trio seem solid while all around them is fluid. That is where the title: Walking in Ambiguity came from. She decided to keep the man who was walking a bit further along in the tunnel because without him, the image looked too contrived. She kept the hazy line of lights on the top right, the neater white line of lights on top left, and the black lines they added dimension to the floor. The result: an image that encapsulated how she felt as she entered that tunnel. Her reaction to this experience embodied a life skill: being all right with ambiguity in this world of ours, learning to make space, listening to, and holding onto the ambiguities in life.

    Dianne Hofner Saphiere, taking a photoBorn in Wisconsin, Saphiere enjoyed a legacy she called an “artistic eye.” While taking care of a family of 5 youngsters, her mother created drawings in charcoal. Saphiere’s father she labeled a Renaissance man who among other pursuits was a gemologist and a master carpenter and she considered him clearly to be an artist. Saphiere holds an M.S. in Organization and Human Resource Development and a B.A. in International Studies. However, starting out to obtain a degree in civil engineering (she was always a logical, organized person) and in Spanish, she was challenged by an Asian college roommate to learn Japanese. She recalled that this was the first thing she decided to learn that she was not immediately good at! She subsequently spent 12 years in Japan as well as living in Spain.

    Traveling and living overseas turned her interests toward intercultural work. At this point she has worked with people from over 130 nations. Her creative streak led her to develop interactive training, especially simulation games. Her intercultural and DEI career reads like a primer on how to be an interculturalist. She was a faculty member of the Intercultural Communication Institute in Portland teaching at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC) for 28 years. In addition, she taught at the Intercultural Development Research Academy in Milano and the Universitat de Valencia. Her client list includes ABB, Hyundai-Kia, Microsoft, Mitsui, Royal Dutch Shell, Schneider Electric, Telecom New Zealand, and Texas Instruments, among many others, as well as universities and study abroad organizations worldwide. In 1994 she received the Interculturalist Award for Achievement from the International Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research (SIETAR International).

    Dianne Hofner Saphiere giving thumbs upDianne is a frequent author. Communication Highwire: Leveraging the Power of Diverse Communication Styles, was co-authored with Barbara Kappler Mikk and Basma Ibrahim DeVries and published by Intercultural Press. Her other works include Ecotonos: A Simulation of Multicultural Collaboration, now issued in its 15th anniversary packaging; Redundancía: A Foreign Language Simulation; Shinrai: Building Trusting Relationships with Japanese Colleagues; Doing Business with Japanese DIVERSOPHY; and contributions to peer-reviewed publications such as the International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Global Competence: 50 Training Activities for Succeeding in International Business, The Training and Performance Sourcebook, and The Pfeiffer Annual. Founder of the well-received and actively engaging Intercultural Insights blog, she also initiated the seminal Cultural Detective series.

    Her development as a photographer was linked to her intercultural work, getting pictures of the interesting people and places during her travels. Saphiere began her intercultural work in 1979 and after 40 years determined that cycle was done, so she moved wholeheartedly into photography. Winner of photography awards, her work has been published and exhibited in 23 countries.

    Currently living in Mexico, I asked her why Mazatlán? While at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA she, and friends would take the train from Nogales to Mazatlán as an adventure and to get away for a break. When she met the man, who would become her husband, it turned out that he had also gone with colleagues from work to Mazatlán and they realized that both had fallen in love with each other and that beautiful city. Married on the beach in Mazatlán, they returned frequently to vacation. Saphiere wrote that they moved permanently to Mazatlán “primarily in order to give our son Danny a second language and the experience of living life as a minority. We have learned a lot, and we continue making mistakes, enjoying our lives, working hard, and learning more every day.” She considers her photography a blessing for helping her see what the eye does not always see so well and for giving her the opportunity to meet so many interesting people around the world.

    Sandra M. Fowler, Editor
    The Interculturalist: A Periodical of SIETAR USA


  • 15 Nov 2021 6:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Helen Kim, Ph.D.By Helen Kim, Ph.D.

    The following story is a fictionalized account of an authentic experience. At one level it is about wearing clothing to reflect “heritage” and how some people from distinct cultures have different ideas about that. Just as clothing is often in layers, this story has several layers of diversity. It is also a story of the human tendency to find an explanation for other people’s behavior within the constraints of their own mindsets. Finally, it is therefore a story of a missed learning opportunity.

    A friend of mine relayed this story to me based on a recent experience of his. I wonder if the readers will be as curious as I was, about whether a better resolution to the story could have been reached.

    It started out simply. He was going to be one of several invited faculty speakers at a zoom discussion on cross-cultural communication. Because he knew that each of the speakers’ families was from a different culture, he suggested that it might be fun and educating too for the viewers if the panelists all wore authentic clothing indicating their cultural background. He, for example, would wear an outfit reflecting his Japanese heritage, the one lady might wear an outfit reflecting her Brazilian background. He asked a third participant who was African American, whether he was going to wear an African outfit, or a “regular” American outfit, but where the shirt might be made with African fabric, containing fantastic batik, or block printing, that he had seen in certain African textiles at a museum textile arts exhibit. In response, the African American colleague looked blank, then said cheerfully, “hey, I’m American, I was born here, so I will just wear normal American clothes.”

    The Japanese colleague knew from previous interactions with his African American colleague that the latter was indeed African American. When asked was he not African American, the African American colleague replied that of course, he was, “but that was several generations ago!!!” Overhearing this part of the conversation, the Brazilian colleague (unseen by her African American colleague), got a perplexed expression on her face. The Japanese colleague mentally stopped in his tracks, also befuddled but outwardly trying not to be. Since this was all happening two days before the event, the Japanese gentleman did not pursue it any further, not wanting to cause any discomfort, or misunderstandings.

    On the day of the discussion, the Japanese colleague did indeed come in classical Japanese men’s attire, the Brazilian in a colorful skirt and blouse ensemble typical of her South American country, and the third in a nice American business suit. The zoom session went well with the student audience, and there was a nice round of applause at the end. Nothing wild, just polite. Because the discussion had been “good,” but not passionate, nor deep. It was as if no one really wanted to get to the crux of the matter—the excuse of course being not enough time.

    Afterward, all the faculty professed to being rushed and had to leave for their next commitments; it happened that the African American left first. The remaining two looked at each other, their outfits, at the backs of the departing faculty, and shrugged. They wondered aloud: did he perceive himself as only American because his African heritage was several generations ago? Or was he embarrassed because his family generations ago had been enslaved? Or did he have a different definition of “heritage,” and think that no matter where your parents or parents’ parents had been born, if YOU were born on American soil, your “heritage,” was American, not African, or Asian, or South American. Was it a semantic issue, or more? The fact was though, he had as much said, before the meeting had started, in chatting with the Brazilian colleague, that this idea of identifying people as Japanese- American, or African American, or Brazilian-American, was unnecessary; “it complicates the fact that we are all equally American…; why do we need to further identify ourselves? It does not matter what else we are, the only thing that matters is we are all American. The more we further identify ourselves, the more it divides us.”

    After the meeting, the Japanese faculty dug deep into his psyche, and came up with the honest feeling that, to him, it DID matter that he be identified as Japanese American, and that his colleagues be identified as Brazilian-American, and yes, African American. To his way of thinking, being called something-something-American helped identify you just a tiny bit, to others, without knowing anything else about you, and told them at some point in your family’s history, a person, or parents, had been born and raised, on soil other than American. It helped differentiate him from others in a crowd, who might have Brazilian, or Hawaiian, or Chinese heritage, yet in his mind, it did not in and of itself make him better or worse than the others. The impression he would make would depend on how his whole persona would be perceived in each scenario, and it should be independent of his cultural heritage even though the latter would always be a factor.

    However, he and his Brazilian colleague wondered, is there something about a people who have been taken from their “home country,” oppressed and held in bondage in another country by the ancestors of the very people they now call “neighbors” that makes them not want to outwardly “celebrate” their African heritage? He and his colleague did not have the answers. Certainly, the Japanese had their dark moments in history of which no Japanese should be proud. Yet the Japanese professor knew that no Japanese would for a minute, deny or make light of who their ancestors were. Their heritage was deep, complex and one of a kind. Why did his African American colleague not think similarly of his own heritage?

    The Japanese professor and his Brazilian colleague decided they could not themselves figure out the subtleties or complexities of why some deny their heritage, and others embrace and celebrate theirs. Even if they spent a lot of mental energy trying to figure it out, because they genuinely wanted to, they might come to a dead end of incomplete understanding, especially if they did not include their African American colleague in the conversation. He could provide the information that they were lacking to understand this situation more fully. Malcolm Gladwell in his book “Blink” was right when he said it is not enough to WANT to be nice or non-racist; your instincts are based on your life experiences; if you want to change your instincts,

    you must change your life experiences to include those you fear, or do not understand, so that they become familiar parts of your life. They certainly did not fear their African American colleague, but they needed to include him in their lives.

    As a fitting acknowledgement to their limitations, and what an exhausting day it had been, they decided to get ice cream cones—good old American ice cream, the kind that melts in your mouth, and down your hand on a sweltering summer day. Nothing to analyze, just appreciate the realities of ice cream. For that matter, maybe sharing culturally unique dessert foods on a regular basis, could be a beginning of intercultural communication and relationship building where there is no judgment, just appreciation of different taste sensations and combinations of ingredients. Yum, just think, American frozen yogurt piled with berries, nuts, and hot fudge one week, Korean egg breads (gyeran bbang) the next week, and Brazilian cheese bread/muffins, or pao de Queijo the third. How many ways can one spell delicious??? And gradually all could be encouraged to come to these dessert retreats in clothing reflecting our heritage(s), letting everyone—children and adults alike—appreciate and indeed celebrate the differences.

    Helen Kim, PhD
    President, Alabama Asian Cultures Foundation
    Member, SIETAR USA


  • 15 Nov 2021 6:43 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This month we welcome guest reviewer Kathy Ellis and we feature our first review of a ‘book’ of poetry: The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman. Ms. Gorman wrote and read this poem for the inauguration of President Biden. It is available as a slim volume in several versions (hardboard and paperback). Ms. Gorman also wrote Call Us What We Carry: Poems. In this review Kathy highlights some of the intercultural passages in the poem. (Craig Storti)

    Amanda Gorman, “The Hill We Climb”
    Applying the Intercultural Lens

    Reviewed By Kathy Ellis
    Atlanta, Georgia

    What a day it was. What an image to remember. Who is this poet? Ah, the power of poetry…

    On January 20, 2021, Amanda Gorman, the youngest poet to read at a presidential inauguration, revealed poignant messages in “The Hill We Climb”. Ms. Gorman became a force of light and leadership for our nation that day, captivating listeners by her grace and dignity. She is also an “intercultural” activist for racial justice, environmental awareness, and gender equality. Ms. Gorman took my breath away.

    Let’s apply the intercultural lens to the 110-line poem. I have kept the format of Ms. Gorman’s lines.

    We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace,
    And the norms and notions of what “just is"
              Isn’t always justice.

    Silence speaks many languages. We learn someone… We learn the meaning of their silence… However, in the case of injustice, silence condones the action. As interculturalists, our mission is to educate. We speak out. We act.

    Because we know to put
    Our future first, we must first
    Put our differences aside.

    How can we build bridges while valuing differences? We know that collaboration, unity, and togetherness are keys of working towards common goals, of knowing the questions to ask and what we need to do. As Dr. Nehrwr Abdul-Wahid emphasized and said simply, to see the Other, we need to get past the stereotypes and fears to see the humanity.

    Because we know our inaction and inertia
    Will be the inheritance for the next
    Generation.

    I interpret these lines as reckoning with our nation’s past, recognizing our inherent biases. We all have them. The poet tells us to do the internal work. Sometimes, I am in complete awe of the kaleidoscope of diversity that we have in the United States and around the world.

    We will raise this wounded world into
    A wondrous one.

    How beautiful is this line? As interculturalists, we heal and advance this wounded world, and Ms. Gorman put her words to our ideals. The nation experienced the magical crossroads of timing and healing on that sunny winter day in January. Amanda Gorman was in the right place and time, declaring the right words in the right way for the right reasons. She wore a cloak of a promising sun topped by a red crown of hope.

    The poet applied the tools of alliteration and internal rhyme, combining her Harvard education with the depth of musicality of the black language tradition to represent every American voice. In a sense, we listen to our calling while healing and transforming ourselves and communities. Poetry reflects voices of the heart and soul, less on the mind. The simple nature of “Hill We Climb” marvels the complexities of the human condition.

    Kathy Ellis has worked as an educator, trainer, and coach in international environments all her career life of over 40 years, weaving in and out of USA orientations for corporate and ESL in the workplace. Kathy is a Qualified Administrator (QA) for the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). Kathy is active with SIETAR Atlanta. Kathy is an awarded poet who has always had poetry dancing in her head. She finally found her poetry pen seven years ago to publish two books and at various venues. Kathy’s third book, to be on the shelves in 2022, is an illustrated adventure story on healing and seeking social justice. interculturalenglishservices@gmail.com



  • 15 Nov 2021 6:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Interculturalist: A Periodical of SIETAR USA will from time to time publish poems written by members or published in other venues. This poem was found in Poem-a-Day and seemed especially appropriate for this November 2021 issue. The author was a Muskogee Creek poet, journalist, and humorist.

    This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on November 6, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

    Autumn

    by Alexander Posey

    In the dreamy silence

    Of the afternoon, a

    Cloth of gold is woven

    Over wood and prairie;

    And the jaybird, newly

    Fallen from the heaven,

    Scatters cordial greetings,

    And the air is filled with

    Scarlet leaves, that, dropping,

    Rise again, as ever,

    With a useless sigh for

    Rest—and it is Autumn.

    To learn more about poem-a-day, contact Poem-a-Day | Poets.org poem-a-day@poets.org

    More Information about the Poet:

    Alexander Lawrence Posey was a Muskogee Creek poet, journalist, and humorist. Known for his poems and the Fus Fixico Letters, he served as the editor for the Eufaula Indian Journal. The poem Autumn was published in The Poems of Alexander Lawrence Posey (Crane Printers, 1910), which was published posthumously. Posey died on May 27, 1908.


  • 15 Nov 2021 6:32 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Elmer Dixon and Deanna Shoss

    For Mercedes Martin, cultural identity is complex. And relative. She was born in Cuba and came to the US as a refugee when she was eight years old, arriving in the US in the middle of the 1960’s Civil Rights movement. She self-identifies as Afro-Cuban American.

    How do others see her? Growing up in Miami she was seen as culturally Cuban. However, she was once denied a visa to visit Cuba because they thought she was too American. On first glance, most assume she is African American and are surprised that she’s a native Spanish speaker. After living in California for years and then moving back to Florida, people’s first reaction was that she was Californian through and through.

    For someone of mixed ethnic, racial and cultural identity, just being can be exhausting. Mercedes, however, sees it as an educational opportunity. “That’s why I use Afro-Cuban. We all want the uniqueness of our identity and at the same time we want to feel like we are part of a broader humanity. That’s the paradox of diversity.”

    Mercedes also sees embracing her intersectional identity as a launching pad for conversation. During Hispanic Heritage Month she organized a series of “Sobre Mesas” (around the dinner table) conversations, entitled Black Like Me: The “Patria y Vida” Movement thru an Afro-Cuban Lens. The program was part of the Awkward Dinners presented by South Florida People of Color, intended to gather small groups of diners in public or private spaces for facilitated discussions on race.

    This conversation layered yet another facet of identity to the mix: political ideology. For instance, Mercedes supports Black Lives Matter but doesn’t agree with their stand on Cuba, “when the majority of Black Cubans — our families — are terrorized, sick and hungry while they protest for “Libertad” – Freedom,” she says. “To me, regardless of where I come from, or who I vote for, I see a movement emphasizing politics over compassion for human beings. This serves as an example of political ideology over Blackness.” For Mercedes and many others, these polarizing, complicated and complex intersections drive an internal struggle. Adopting and sharing one’s different hyphens can be an external reflection of that.

    Hispanic vs. Latino(a) vs. Latinx

    While presented as a celebration of culture, Hispanic Heritage Month also prompts exploration of historical struggle and identity, starting with the implications of the name alone. Since 1988 Americans have observed National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. (hispanicheritagemonth.gov).

    From a political and historical perspective, the term Hispanic was added to the census in 1980. Prior to that, Latin-Americans were categorized as White on the census. Mexican American and other Hispanic organizations lobbied the federal government to collect the data to show that they were under-resourced. Two-generations later the term Hispanic has been rejected by many people labeled with it due to its ties with Spain, which colonized much of Latin America. Thus, the term Latino evolved as an alternative to Hispanic. Latino refers to people of Latin American descent living in the United States. It includes Brazilians, who speak Portuguese, and excludes people from Spain.

    The terms Hispanic and Latino are now used interchangeably, at least on the census form, where both are listed. However, there’s an important distinction to make between these two words. Hispanic refers to someone of Spanish-speaking descent while Latino is more inclusive of all Latin cultures. Given the gendering of the Spanish language, however, Latin“o” technically only refers to those who identify as male. LatinX has emerged as the gender neutral, culturally, ethnically and LGBTQ+ inclusive term in the media. Yet according to Pew Research, only 20% of adults who identify as Latino had heard of the term, and only 3% actually use it, mostly young women or (per USA Today) those of Latin American descent who don’t want to be identified by gender or who don’t identify as being male or female.

    Dialogue as Healing

    Mercedes encourages people to explore identity and engage in conversations that highlight the richness of our intersectionality. Even in navigating difference, this deep sharing of the context and implications of language drives new perspectives and understanding. “When the hyphen is not only a bridge but a resting point to examine the wounds that divide us, it creates spaces to share untold narratives that offer the best medicine,” says Mercedes. From culture to race to geography to politics, as we embrace all that makes us unique it also builds inroads to the common community that brings us together.

    Reprinted with permission from the Executive Diversity blog. See the original post here: https://www.executivediversity.com/2021/10/13/hispanic-latino-latinx-heritage-month


  • 15 Nov 2021 6:25 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    November has come, 2021 SIETAR USA Master Workshop Weekend is complete, and now it is time to get busy with conference planning for 2022. Much of the work for next year is already done as we are moving the 2021 in-person Omaha conference to 2022. However, information and tasks need some updating and refreshing. It really does take a village, so please consider joining the planning team. It’s a great way to meet people in the field, to help shape the conference, to expand your leadership skills, and to get engaged with SIETAR USA.

    We are looking for people to participate in—or lead the following committees in coordination with the Conference Management Team (CMT) (Conference Oversight Director, SIETAR President, and Immediate Past President, and SIETAR Administrative Officer).

    • Conference Co-Chairs - Overall management of the conference
    • Conference Program Co-Chairs - Management of submitted proposals (verify resubmits and recruit new sessions as needed)
    • Master Workshop Chairs - Recruit and coordinate the sessions for the pre-conference Master Workshops
    • Silent Auction Chair - manage solicitation and execution of silent auction
    • Volunteer Coordinator - work with Administrative Officer to manage volunteers
    • SEA Chair(s) - coordinate with Sponsorship and Partnership Director to solicit sponsors, exhibitors, and advertisers for the conference
    • Wellness Chair - recruit and manage the Wellness program options at the conference
    • Local Team - develop, design, and manage local options at the conference (Dine-Around, pre-post tours, music and entertainment for Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner, etc.
    • Affinity Groups Chair - coordinate the Affinity Group meetings at the conference

    Some of these positions require significant input and others are of shorter duration. Hope you will consider joining us. You are welcome to contact the Conference Oversight Director, Karen Lokkesmoe, at conferenceoversight@sietarusa.org for a no-obligation chat about these opportunities.

    Another word about SIGs - Special Interest Groups

    A new look at SIGs is taking place. Any opportunity to find and get to know people who have similar interests, challenges, and expertise is a plus for each member and SIETAR USA should nurture those opportunities. Toward that goal, we are taking a look at moving to Affinity Groups instead of the old-fashioned SIGs. Be sure to read the following article on Affinity Groups. Think about becoming active in this new initiative.

    You may submit your interest to: Brett Parry (president@sietarusa.org).

    Please indicate what your interest is and your level of interest: organizer, leader, or participant. Please keep in mind—leaders are needed for each Affinity Group to be successful.

  • 15 Nov 2021 6:22 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    SIETAR USA comprises members who care about identities, connections, and relationships. One of the greatest pleasures of attending one of the SIETAR USA National conferences is the opportunity to interact with people like ourselves and people so very different from ourselves. Establishing and maintaining relationships for fun and learning is an outcome from every conference you attend. Finding like-minded people to have a coffee with or simply sit down and chat between sessions or during lunch is easy.

    Attempting to make it even easier, Brett Parry has in mind a network of Affinity Groups (formerly known as Special Interest Groups: SIGs, and otherwise known as PRGs: People Resource Groups). We would appreciate some feedback on this idea.

    We are thinking that we might start with a core set of groups and are looking for some motivated people who are excited by the concept to help us organize. It only takes two to form a "group”! Here are some ideas from an organization that established their own set of Affinity Group initiatives: they have BOLD: Black Organization for Leadership Development; LGBTA: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Allies; DAWN: Differently-Abled Workplace Network; OLA: Organization for Latino Achievement; and PAN: Pan Asian Network. Each of those groups exist already in SIETAR USA—they just haven’t formed yet! Those groups are present in a corporation, but SIETAR USA’s membership is uniquely configured for a variety of other groups.

    A next step would be for you to contact SIETAR USA’s president, Brett Parry, to let him know that you would like to help with this project (president@sietarusa.org). Forming some of the Affinity Groups prior to the next conference in Omaha in October 2022, will help people connect with their clan right from Day 1.


  • 15 Nov 2021 6:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I have been musing about something that happened recently. An issue was raised once again that has been around for as long as SIETAR USA has had Master Workshops. The question is: why didn’t we open a Call for Proposals (CFP) for Master Workshops? They have been by invitation since their inception. There are several reasons for doing it that way.

    TIMING: Using a Call For Proposals for Master Workshops means the process has to be organized well prior to the CFP for regular sessions. In fact, it should be in place ready to announce at the time of the current conference, i.e., a year in advance. For 2022, the conference will be the first week in November so the CFP for Master Workshops should be written and a process for vetting them ready to go within the next month.

    REGISTRATION: Another factor is that people need to be able to sign up for Master Workshops at the time of registration. The registration form is developed immediately after the CFP for program sessions. Master Workshops by invitation streamlines the process. Under the current system and in an ideal world, the Master Workshop Coordinators have their list ready and are contacting potential Master Workshop leaders in January, and by February have a commitment from all presenters. Creating the list takes time. They don’t design their list of potential Master Workshop leaders in a vacuum. They ask for suggestions from Board members, friends, colleagues. Developing the list is a collaborative process. But once the list is ready, the rest of the process goes quickly. On the other hand, waiting for responses to a Call, completing a review of each proposal, vetting the submissions (e.g. contacting references etc.), contacting the presenters with proposed changes, and receiving final copy greatly expands the amount of work and time involved, which makes meeting a reasonable deadline more difficult.

    DIVERSITY: Another reason to design the Master Workshop program by invitation is diversity—both in topics and presenters. When the schedule is prepared with that in mind, the coordinators are able to invite workshop leaders who are known to have expertise in current topics, who know SIETAR USA well enough to be able to design their workshop for our members, and who are not all going to be doing a workshop on the same topic. All that goes into decisions of who to invite.

    PROGRAM DESIGN: The Master Workshops constitute an integrated program that needs to be well thought out. A range of interesting, topical Master Workshops provides a draw, so the program needs to be promulgated early to increase the chances that more people are likely to register for a Master Workshop and the conference.

    What is needed to organize the Master Workshop program using a CFP approach? A person who truly believes that it is a better way to do it, is willing to form a committee to help with all the work, and make it happen. That person hasn’t yet stepped up.

    We are confident that there are many SIETAR USA members who could do a whiz bang Master Workshop, if they would just let us know—and that has happened in the past even without a specific CFP. Maybe there is a solution to the issues I’ve raised—perhaps a combination Invitation and Call. Perhaps something we haven’t yet thought to do. Any ideas?

    Sandra M. Fowler

    Editor, The Interculturalist: A Periodical of SIETAR USA


  • 15 Nov 2021 6:16 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our local group family is growing with the recent welcoming of SIETAR Atlanta in Spring 2021 and the revitalized SIETAR Chicagoland and SIETAR Bay Area this Fall. In an effort to create community with all our local group members, we will be hosting a series of fun events throughout the year, starting with an Intercultural Holiday Happy Hour that took place on November 11.

    SIETAR Atlanta hosted its first event of the season in October entitled “Sharing Stories and Anecdotes – Critical Cultural Moments in our Intercultural World” with participants dialing in from across the U.S. and from far-reaching places such as Ghana, Russia, Portugal, Spain, and Germany. For more information or to join contact sietaratl@gmail.com.

    Interested in joining SIETAR Chicagoland or helping with the group’s re-launch? Please contact sietarchicagoland@gmail.com to become a member and show your support.

    In efforts to revitalize the SIETAR San Francisco Bay Area, a meeting was held in early October with a few interested members to discuss potential ways to get this group active again.

    Interested in helping plan a virtual January or February delivery or getting involved in the San Francisco Bay Area local SIETAR group? Please contact sietarsfbayarea@gmail.com.

    In November, SIETAR Florida hosted “A Brief History of the Hispanic Presence in Florida” with Jorge Beltrán who presented a visual journey of Hispanic influence in the sunshine state from the 1500’s to the present day. sietarflorida@gmail.com

    In December, SIETAR Tri-State will sponsor “Trends in Corporate Mobility Post COVID” with guest Jennifer Rowe, Senior Manager at BGRS, who will discuss BRGS’s 2021 Talent Mobility Trends Survey “Reinventing Mobility Beyond 2020.” sietartristate@gmail.com

    In September, SIETAR DC welcomed Dr. Rajika Bhandari who talked about her recently published book “America Calling: A Foreign Student in a Country of Possibility.” sietardc@gmail.com

    SIETAR Minnesota hosted legendary interculturalist Jack Condon in October who shared “Moments, Memories and Momentum” during a fireside chat (see article on this event in this month’s newsletter). On November 16, guests Sachi Sekimoto and Chris Brown will discuss “Critical Sensorial Awareness in Intercultural Communication.” sietar.mn@gmail.com

    Interested in starting your own local group? Contact localgroups@sietarusa.org for information.


  • 15 Nov 2021 6:12 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    SIETAR USA Living Code of Ethical Behavior

    The Ethics Committee of 2021 has worked hard this past year to update the Living Code of Ethical Behavior which was created in 2013. The committee worked together to make it more relevant to the work we are all doing in the DEI and intercultural fields. So, after months of working on the document, getting input from reviewers and approval from the Board of Directors, we will soon be ready to present it to the membership. We are also making a few other changes to the Ethics webpages which will include new resources on Ethics. Stay tuned and check the SIETAR USA website in the next few weeks for the changes. We encourage you to read through the document and agree to abide by the code.

    Thank you to all the committee members for all your contributions: Kurt Nemes, Ethics Committee Chair, Sandy Fowler, Immediate Past President of SIETAR USA, Cheryl Woehr, Board Member and SIETAR Professional Development Director, Alan Richter, President, QED Consulting, LLC, Lobna “Luby” Ismail, Founder of Connecting Cultures and Bettina Byrd Giles, Executive Director Klein Arts & Culture. Thank you also to our reviewers: Andy Reynolds, Robert Hayles, Maria Thacker, Soumaya Khalifa, and Karen Fouts.

    SIETAR USA Webinars

    A special thanks also goes to the Webinar committee, Carolyn Ryffel, Chair, Sandy Fowler, Julia Gaspar-Bates and Cheryl Woehr for organizing all of the webinars for the year. I think we can all agree, the quality of speakers was amazing! Reminder, there will not be a webinar in December! With the holidays approaching we thought everyone might be busy and need a break. Enjoy your holidays and we look forward to seeing you at the January webinar.

    Date: January 12, 2022; Time: 11:30-1:00 PM EST; Topic: Rolling in the New Year (A SIETAR USA Activity).

    Have a wonderful holiday!

    We have a lot of talent in SIETAR USA so please consider submitting a proposal to present at one of our monthly webinars or suggest someone that you think would be good. You can email Carolyn Ryffel, Chair of the committee at carolynryffel@gmail.com or Cheryl Woehr, Professional Development Director at cherylwoehr@gmail.com.

    SIETAR USA Saturday Seminars

    We are looking for members who are interested in being part of the planning committee for Saturday Seminars for 2022. Joining a committee is a great way to get involved in the organization and meet more people. For more information or to join the committee please email Cheryl Woehr, Professional Development Director at cherylwoehr@gmail.com

    Mentoring Committee

    This coming year we plan to revisit the goal of creating a Mentoring Program. We will take a different approach and look at a different format. If any of you are interested in being a mentor or joining the Mentoring committee please contact Cheryl Woehr, Professional Development Director at cherylwoehr@gmail.com.

    Written by: Cheryl Woehr

    Director, Professional Development Portfolio


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