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  • 03 Jun 2022 2:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    George Renwick SIETAR USA has just learned of the death of longtime member, contributor to the intercultural field, and mentor to many of our members, George Renwick. Lovely tributes are appearing on Facebook, and we would like to do a special tribute issue honoring George. Many of us have stories of time spent with George and we would like to hear them. Please submit your stories and pictures to Editor@sietarusa.org for publication no later than June 24, 2022.

    Cliff Clarke, another person with a long history with SIETAR and with George, wrote about his relationship with George in the following (used with permission):

    “My dear friend, George W. Renwick passed away six months ago without any public recognition of his significant contributions to the members of SIETAR and to the society's founding and development from the late sixties onward. Most of us are just now receiving the news of his death last December. I would like to share with all of you some of my memories of George in working closely with him for over 54 years.

    I am devastated by the loss of this close friend who I have treasured throughout my professional career since 1966. We have shared so many experiences of fighting against so many institutional and personal barriers to awaken the public’s, institution's, and organization's acceptance of this vital field from the late sixties and seventies until it finally came to pass. David Hoopes, another intercultural warrior, was instrumental in initially bringing us together. As both of us were graduates of divinity schools (M.Div.), we immediately bonded with all of our shared interests, our common life’s mission, and our responsiveness to spiritual leadership. 

    George and I worked together to spread the knowledge and skills of intercultural communication in one particular Train-the-Trainers workshop at Wheeling, WV (1969). Hoopes received a NAFSA grant (National Association Foreign Student Advisors) for the first nationwide training of two representatives from each of NAFSA’s 12 regions in Intercultural Communication Workshops (ICWs) differentiated from Cross-Cultural Workshops (CCWs). Our leadership staff was David, George, Toby, and Myself. Our 24 exceptional facilitators, including Robert Moran, all returned to their campuses all over the U.S. to gradually expand the ICW workshop model with their students. George was the steady hand in working through the many challenging moments so patiently in ways that brought the team together. He was an artist at doing just that.

    In founding SIIC (the Stanford Institute for Intercultural Communication, 1976) I turned to Dean Barnlund and George Renwick who for the first 10 years at SIIC served as the bookends of the week-long program. Each gave 3-hour presentations on the theories of intercultural communication (Dean on Monday) and evaluating intercultural interventions (George on Friday). Each also facilitated his own workshop throughout the week in their respective areas of teaching and consulting. They provided guidance and inspiration to the participants from mornings until late nights, consistently setting examples for the rest of the staff. I was very impressed by George’s compassion, competence, and commitment. George was always giving of his time as a coach and deep listener to other people’s needs for personal career directions, for integrated training designs, for approaches to training and coaching clients, and for many other expressed needs.

    While on many, many long talks and walks in and around each other’s homes designing and analyzing our respective client services, he brought such comradeship, insight, vision, and wisdom to my life for which I remain eternally grateful. He was the Chairman of my Board of Directors for my first NPO, the Intercultural Relations Institute (1980). Throughout our first contracts with P&G and Fuji-Xerox he was my professional coach.  When I changed my organization’s name to the Clarke Consulting Group (1985), it was George whose Socratic interviewing process help me decide on its new name. I learned from him so many of what became CCG’s values and principles. We engaged in the same process again when naming GIS (Global Integration Strategies, 2002), which I founded in Hawaii. George’s four stages of Culture-General > Culture-Specific > Culture-Comparative > Culture Interactive training guided CCG’s curriculum development in the Culture-Interactive direction.

    At SIETAR conferences in the U.S. George would spend 16 hours a day talking with everyone who sought his counsel. I admired him for living a life so fully dedicated to serving others. I smile today amidst tears when I remember how he continually wore himself out without ever revealing exhaustion. I pray that he died naturally and in peace at his wonderful Carefree, Arizona home with his brother, Robert, by his side. We were only a few months apart in age, so I naturally felt he died prematurely. He was still planning another trip to Japan. I imagine he still had requests for his services on his desk. But now, I am profoundly grateful that George has finally found the deepest and truest meaning of ‘rest in peace’ (RIP) because he surely is. His life’s circle is complete. 

    In closing I would like to share thoughts about George from Sue Shinomiya that she sent this morning, which I deeply appreciated.  

    "He was a mentor, friend and inspiration to so many of us in the intercultural field and beyond, myself included. I remember when you used to have him come by to speak with all of us at CCG all those years ago. He leaves behind a deep impression of compassion, connection and friendship for so many of us.”  

    In George’s spirit, Cliff Clarke.

    In addition to his keen mind, he was an unusually gentle man and a fine human being—and he is missed.

    Sandra M. Fowler, Editor
    The “I”: A Periodical of SIETAR USA

  • 03 Jun 2022 2:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Brett ParryI am writing this as I ride on a train between Copenhagen and the small city of Kolding in Denmark. It seems to have been much longer than the 9 days since I arrived in Europe. A quick overnight in Warsaw was followed by a flight to Zurich for a 3-night stay. A countryside train ride from there through Austria to Munich to take in a quick night of Bavarian hospitality. All culminating in a flight to the Mediterranean island nation of Malta for the SIETAR Europa Congress.

    This is now possible as the world begins to emerge from a global event that has kept us separated from family and friends, as well as the colleagues in the intercultural field through which an interchange of learning is so vitally important. We pivoted to virtual technologies of course, however this recent gathering in Malta has driven home just how much an in-person connection can enrich the experience of exchanging thoughts and ideas.

    I am always personally mindful of the privilege I am afforded in being able to engage in these experiences. That the very nature of the work we do calls us to embrace the growth that comes with being in the honored presence of those that do not think, act, pray, love, look and communicate as we each do.

    The very idea of SIETAR is evolving, as it should. The theme in Malta was “Re-Thinking Interculturalism”. There were many in attendance that felt this had been long overdue. The paradigm is shifting, asking us to let go of the traditional ways we approach not just the work itself, but also the way in which SIETAR exists for its members, and invites those who may be considering being a part of it. In the USA, we are in the process of presenting a whole new mission statement to better reflect the needs of today’s intercultural community. It is meant to be one that follows this same call to a new reality, one that centers the value of diversity and inclusion of new ideas and the people who bring them, as well as new ways of thinking. I have personally heard the phrase “we need to find people that know SIETAR” far too many times when considering people for roles of stewardship, and feel that this has resulted in a lack of new thought.

    No vision or mission statement can be perfect, nor can any organization. For me, it's not about that. But the safe harbor of perpetuating practices and programs that exclude the very voices we need to hear from is counterproductive. It diminishes and undervalues the many great works that SIETAR has done since its inception.

    We may all agree that the world is a much more connected and integrated place. Many of us have the privilege to live in a time that is relatively much more peaceful than any other in human history. However, this is not the case for everyone. Inequity, both explicit and implicit, infects many areas of the world, and brings with them deep conflicts, resulting in dislocation of many innocent souls across the world.

    As we in the SIETAR USA community look forward to our own conference coming up in November, I invite us to keep all of this in mind that new ways of doing things are not a threat. Our response should be one of eager curiosity to discover the abundance of opportunities that comes with broadening our spaces, both physically and conceptually.

    Brett Parry, President


  • 03 Jun 2022 2:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Sandy FowlerIn an effort to keep up with the times, we are changing our format and with that the name of the publication. We like to think of our previous format as a hybrid: part articles of substance and part news items regarding SIETAR USA. We have been proud of its growth and considered it our insightful, wonderful, creative, helpful, community knowledge-focused collaboration!

    However, there is evidence from data provided by MailChimp that The Interculturalist: A Periodical of SIETAR USA was not receiving the kind of attention that SIETAR USA would like it to have. For example, the April issue was opened by 548 people—that’s almost twice the number of members—but the individual items did not receive anywhere near that many clicks.

    Therefore, there will be a change. Information will now be distributed as follows:

    1. The “I” (The Interculturalist: A Periodical of SIETAR USA) will continue as an every-other month periodical. There will be 6 issues a year. The content will be reduced to 6-8 articles to include: Opinion, DEI, BookMarks/Poetry Crossings (they will alternate issues), Letter from the Editor and 1 or 2 other articles as deemed important, such as: Message from the President, Professional Development, Special Event Information, or other material deemed suitable. Each article will be linked to the SIETAR USA blog on the website, as well as each article being sent out separately to social media.
    2. Conference Connections will be distributed as a separate newsletter each month for at least 6 months leading up to the Conference. It will contain brief newsy information regarding the program, the special events, tours, the registration link, master workshops, city (Omaha) information and other items of interest and concern to participants. Conference Deadlines will be sent to the mailing list. This information will be on the website and also distributed to social media platforms.
    3. Announcements which would include webinar content/presenters and registration information, relevant deadlines such as hotel reservations, conference registration and the like will go out as an email to the mailing list.

    There will also be a name change. In the future, we will call it The “I”: A Periodical of SIETAR USA to reflect that it is a shorter version of The Interculturalist: A Periodical of SIETAR USA. I think it is likely to be called just The “I” but it will be more periodical than newsletter. I hope that this doesn’t reflect that people are just not reading much anymore but that could be one conclusion. So, if shorter is better let us know, we appreciate hearing from you!

    Much as I wanted this to be a brief introduction to the new communication schema when I wrote it weeks ago, I feel a need to add a few words regarding the passing of George Renwick and the loss so many of us in the intercultural field are feeling. George’s strengths were many but one that almost everyone has commented on was his ability to empathize and ask the right questions that would get to the core of an issue whatever it was that was needed. Joyce Osland captured that describing her observation of George at SIIC in one-on-ones, sharing whatever a person needed to walk away enriched by being in his presence. It was that personal touch that George had to empower others that has been expressed in different ways by many people who have shared their reactions to learning of his death. I will add my personal story of George to the special issue that we plan to publish at the end of June. We will not take the beautiful tributes we find on social media without permission so if you put something on social media, please send it to Editor@sietarusa.org so that we can add it to the George Renwick special issue.

    Sandra M. Fowler
    Editor, The “I”

  • 03 Jun 2022 2:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Willette NealI am exhausted, but I can't quit. This "thing" we do, this work that encompasses us, this moment in which we exist requires me/us to continue our work in DEI. Our dedication to assisting and encouraging others to see the need for this work at this moment and feel why this work is essential can be mentally and physically exhausting. As I attempt to move forward in this diversity sphere, sometimes I feel as though I am trudging through this process in a fashion like walking in mud. It is messy, it's dark, and it's heavy, but I can't quit. I must intentionally seek to find spaces where light exists, and our work is evident. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, our newest member of the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, is my current moment of light. 

    Seeing Justice Jackson confirmed to the highest court in the land, this moment of light filled my soul with joy while simultaneously visualizing the heavy load I and others expect her to carry. Before she sits in her new seat, I need her to represent about 20 million black women, keep that look of pride on her daughter's face, maintain her marriage, keep smiling, respond nicely to public insults, keep the look of pride on the face of her parents, answer for any past rulings in which others didn't agree, defend her position on a school board, continue to attend school board meetings, correct whatever injustices I believe to have previously occurred and finally serve in this position for a lifetime because it's a lifetime appointment. Insanity in this form is to expect this from anyone, and this is only the tip of the iceberg referencing the load she is expected to carry.

    Black women around the country heard her "heavy sigh" before responding to the Senator. We translated so many things in that unspoken moment. We knew- that she knew that how she reacted in that very moment carried so much weight for future conversations. If she came off to strong, then she could be perceived as angry, if she refused to respond to the insanity of the moment, then she could come off as arrogant; if she responded with all the education she possessed, then she would come off as dismissive. So, in the end, she lowered her tone and answered, which is where many black women can relate. We often hold back to remain in the spaces where we find ourselves. And this is the segue for our work in DEI. How do we help develop spaces where instead of "heaving a heavy sigh," I/we can voice responses as a minority in the same vein the majority responds? 

    How do we help develop an environment that genuinely values the expertise of the individuals on the team? How do we get into a "reality" mindset and realize that the world outside of our organizations has a nefarious impact on our work environment? When are we going to acknowledge that the heavy load that is expected of Justice Brown is indicative of most black and brown women in the workforce? Yet, instead of discussing this, instead of addressing it, we are relegated to the "heavy sigh." 

    We have screamed about the impact of implicit biases, but what are we saying about the apparent biases that occur? Implicit wasn't present in the interview/questioning of Justice Brown; it was more closely related to apparent biases. Unfortunately, there are many of us who have experienced both obvious and implicit biases in the interview process. 

    Our duty in our profession is to discuss these realistically. I recently was part of a panel, and one panelist admitted to something like; we realize that most African American women that apply for positions within our organization never make it past the interview stage." It is not enough to recognize that this exists; our efforts must be on determining why it exists and make concerted efforts to eradicate all remnants of the reasoning behind the existence of such practices. To that end, in this same organization I am advocating for accountability from leadership as the first step. I want this followed by an actionable response such as developing an entire office (this organization does not have a DEI office or officer) to address barriers to productive and diverse environments at all levels of the organization. I must explain, sometimes loudly, how impactful it would be to have employees operate in an environment in which they are valued and represented. As a DEI professional, I often reflect on how I would react and respond if I were in the majority. I use this culturally intelligent approach to guide some of the most in-depth conversations around barriers in the workplace. But to go back to the beginning of this dialogue, this is exhausting, but I can't quit. This is exhausting, but I won't quit. I believe that if we are in a moment in history in which our combined experiences and knowledge can make a difference in the future.

    We can start by understanding one of the dimensions of cultural intelligence- motivation. What motivates individuals to respond in a specific manner in situations? When we can understand intrinsic motivations, we can begin to link barriers to actionable items. I am not one to believe that at the onset, individuals collaboratively decided to ensure African American women wouldn't make it to the interview, but I do think that there are systemic barriers that are grounded in intrinsic motivation. I will continue to drop small nuggets in these conversations in the hope that they will inspire readers to start a realistic dialogue around making real change.  

    Willette Neal
    DEI Editor and Member of the Board

  • 03 Jun 2022 1:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This book is a delight from beginning to end.  It is an anthology of mostly short excerpts from the works and the letters of every well-known British travel writer, explorer, and novelist you’ve ever heard of and also includes excerpts from the letters of numerous other famous Brits from all walks of life and occupations. These are the observations of traveling Brits as they encounter the world outside England; sometimes they like what they find; sometimes they do not. Sometimes they enjoy the company of fellow Brits; sometimes they are appalled at the behavior of their compatriots. The earliest examples date from the early 1700s.

    There is hardly a single dimension of the cross-cultural experience that does not receive comment in these pages. Your Book Review editor has used excerpts from this anthology in almost every book I have written. It is a goldmine of shrewd, amusing, ironic, insightful, and beautifully written insights into the experience of encountering people unlike yourself—or at least the British version of that experience.

    The book is divided into four parts: Opening Steps, The Grand Tour (closer European destinations), The Middle Distance (further afield but still mostly Europe), and Wider Horizons (everywhere else). There are some amusing drawings, and the whole thing begins with a brilliant introduction, including these wonderful observations:

    • The ideal traveller, in fact, is not a man who goes out to teach, but a man who goes out to learn.  He is a person who, in his most censorious moments, even as he wickedly observes the Italians juggling with spaghetti or listens to the tiresome yodelling of the Swiss, can look at himself and realize that he is equally funny–that his favorite dish is fish and chips, that his  grey trousers and sports coat can make him seem inexpressibly comic to a Spaniard or an Arab.
    • The born traveller–the man who is without prejudices, who sets out wanting to learn rather than to criticize, who is stimulated by oddity, who recognizes that every man is his brother, however strange and ludicrous he may be in dress and appearance–has always been comparatively rare.
    • We admire what we recognize and guffaw like a donkey at anything that would not happen in the cosy familiar whirl of Deal and Bournemouth and Blackpool.  Because we drink beer, we mock at the Frenchman for his addiction to wine.  And because we like a cut off the roast and two veg., we despise an Italian's love for what we regard as contemptible pap.

    And these are just the insights of the compilers! Wait till you get to the actual excerpts.

    Each excerpt has a title. Here are a few to give you a rough idea of the contents:

    An Absurd Practice
    Sensuality of a Swine
    Thackery and the Oysters
    A Land of Mud
    Albanian Robbers
    Frightening People

    Hopeless Vice
    Wretched Castratos
    Argument with A Baker
    Battle with Rats
    Slime Pits of Genesis
    English Habits
    African Insects
    Weird Australia

    And a few samples:

    I should say, looking back calmly upon the matter, that seventy-five percent of West African insects sting, five percent bite, and the rest are either prematurely or temporarily parasitic on the human race. And undoubtedly one of the worst things you can do in West Africa is to take any notice of an insect. If you see a thing that looks like a cross between a flying lobster and a figure of Abraxes on a Gnostic gem, do not pay it the least attention, never mind where it is; just keep quiet and hope it will go away—for that’s your best chance; you have none in a stand-up fight with a good, thorough-going African insect. Mary Kingsley

    I shall stop as long as I can, and see all that can be grasped in the time, for I sincerely hope never to go abroad again. I never loved home so well as now I am away from it…. There is far too much of tumult in seeing the places one has read so much about all one's life to make it desirable for it to continue.  John Henry Newman

    Factories, smoke, innumerable Woolworths, mud–were these Japan?  We were assured they were not.  The ‘real' Japan (all countries have a 'real' self, which no stranger can ever hope to see) was something different, was somewhere else.  Aldous Huxley

    In travelling in Europe our confounded English pride only fortifies itself, and we feel that we are better than 'those foreigners' but it's worthwhile coming [to America] that we may think small beer of ourselves afterwards.  William Thackery

    One caveat is that it may be hard to find this book. But it’s well worth the search.

  • 31 May 2022 7:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In 2005, DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging) work seemed like the natural progression of my career.  After working for a number of years in a corporate setting and feeling undervalued and unseen as an African-American Gay male, I began my work as a DEIB consultant. My goal was to fix what I believed were the systemic inequities that plagued workplace institutions across the world.  Although my work would expand to organizational strategy and management consulting, DEIB would remain a fundamental pillar of my pedagogy. DEIB was not a superficial consideration; it was central to the idea of creating equitable workplaces, and I was always astonished when I met organizational development practitioners from across the world who treated the field of DEIB as inconsequential or secondary to their work in organizational psychology or leadership.  DEIB facilitates greater social awareness and highlights structural inequalities that impact day-to-day interactions in the workplace.

    Yet for all of its insight, the focus of DEIB work seemed limited to North America. It didn’t have the global focus or even the inclusive terminology to make it relevant for global audiences.  As a result, after many years of working in the DEIB field, I immersed myself in interculturalism in hope of bridging the gap between DEIB and the global sphere.

    Unbeknownst to me, Bert Vercamer was on a complimentary journey. Having grown up in a small town in Belgium in a mono-identity environment, Bert had become immersed in the intercultural field, having completed a Bachelors and Master’s program in intercultural relations and a Master’s degree in economics.  Yet, ten years into the intercultural world, something started gnawing at him: Bert met hundreds of interculturalists who wanted to get involved in social causes (such as the refugee crisis in Europe or the sustainability movement in Latin America) but who lacked a clear-eyed view of how our imperfect world came to be. In Bert’s estimation, intercultural skills and competencies - while foundational - didn't prepare interculturalists to adequately address issues of power and privilege or marginalization and hegemony. Later on, after the brutal murder of George Floyd, the intercultural framework again didn't provide instructive answers. In many ways, it didn’t even ask the right questions.  Bert saw fellow interculturalists start using DEIB vocabulary without making any changes to their models, work, and most importantly, their thinking.

    Bert’s perspective was one that I had heard from my colleague Amer Ahmed, an equity practitioner and thought leader who was raised in the Midwest by Indian-Muslim immigrants.  Amer noted local economic and racial inequities in his community in Ohio while also encountering extreme poverty during family visits to India.  In seeking to better understand cultures, history and inequity in our world, Amer studied cultural anthropology and Black World Studies in college and studied abroad in South Africa and Nepal.  Frustrated by the ongoing implications of colonialism in our world, Amer attended intercultural conferences hoping to find allyship in addressing the inequities he witnessed throughout the world.

    However, as Amer and I found ourselves alone in a bar lounge at the SIETAR USA Conference in San Diego in 2017, we entertained an important question: “Is the way we are collectively doing this work working?”  It was a conversation that was gaining more traction in our respective networks, and both of us agreed that something was missing.  DEIB focused mightily on consciousness raising, but it often failed in teaching practical skills in order to manage cultural identity, differences, and similarities.  Interculturalism had a strong bench of intercultural competencies and skill-sets but the intercultural practice often ignored questions related to equity and power, as well as the legacy of enslavement, colonialism, and imperialism.  DEIB and Interculturalism operate largely within organizational and/or business circles, but they sometimes fail to inspire and support movements that germinate in the social and communal context.  Movements such as “BlackLivesMatter” and #NiUnaMenos have implications far beyond corporate confines. 

    As Amer and I discussed the missing elements in DEIB, Interculturalism (IC), and Social Justice, Amer would soon have an identical conversation with Bert.  And  as Bert and I became acquainted personally and professionally, we too discussed the implications and shortcomings of adopting the single-minded approach that adherents in each of the three aforementioned fields can suffer from. 

    In truth, our questions were not unique. We discovered that many of our friends and colleagues had similar concerns and as social unrest mounted in the U.S. in 2018, many of our colleagues recognized how their IC approach was incompatible with the American social landscape, much like our DEIB colleagues who recognized the problematic approach of applying DEIB to global affairs where DEIB was seen as an “American” invention.  Further, we saw a growing need to align our work with the human rights activists who were doing comparable work to resolve similar issues “in the streets” without the gravitas extended to their DEIB or IC counterparts. 

    As a result, we created a 7-point pedagogical and practitioner model – the Global Inclusion Praxis Model - that incorporates DEIB, Interculturalism, Social Justice, and Empowered Leadership.  Additionally, we launched a certification program in January 2022 to teach practitioners from a variety of disciplines and from anywhere in the world how to do equity work in a systemic, equitable, and globally-minded way.  Our training program, which is offered four times a year and contains 18-hours of coursework (in-class and asynchronous), has been endorsed by Purdue University and SIETAR USA.

    Our work is premised on the notion that each field – DEIB, Interculturalism, and Social Justice -  brings something great to the table that when blended with and amplified by each other, creates an innovative, creative, and progressive model that will help move the planet forward.  As one of our graduates reiterated, the work of the Global Inclusion Certification Program makes it possible for aspiring practitioners to do global equity work in a holistic and effective way.  Under the banner of Global Inclusion, we invite you to learn from us as we learn from you in order to collectively foster equity, justice, and intercultural understanding. Visit us at www.global-inclusion.com.

    Dr. Joel A. Davis Brown Dr. Joel A. Davis Brown

    Bert Vercamer Bert Vercamer

    Dr. Amer F. Ahmed Dr. Amer F. Ahmed


  • 31 May 2022 6:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    SIETAR World

    May 24, 2022 – SIETAR BC Videos Series: "My Perspective, My Voice" with Nemat Haroon. Visit SIETAR BC Events to register!

    May 26, 2022 – SIETAR Deutschland Training Series: “Acceptance” with Dr. Sabine Horst, Antje Gorgas and Simone Hönle from QuinteSentio. Visit SIETAR Deutschland Events to register!

    May 27, 2022 - SIETAR BC Book Club: “Self-studies - Language and Pedagogy” discusses “Teaching to Transgress” by bell hooks. Visit SIETAR BC Events to register!

    June 1, 2022 – SIETAR France Webinar: “Made in France and elsewhere: “Addressing Africa, new El Dorado” with Marie-Hélène Girardin and Yann Hazoume. Visit SIETAR France Events to register!

    June 7, 2022 – SIETAR BC Videos Series:"My Perspective, My Voice" with Anu Pala. Visit SIETAR BC Events to register!

    June 8, 2022 – SIETAR Deutschland Training Series: “Optimism” with Dr. Sabine Horst, Antje Gorgas and Simone Hönle from QuinteSentio. Visit SIETAR Deutschland Events to register!

    June 9, 2022 – SIETAR Deutschland Webinar: “UNESCO futures literacy - How future laboratories improve our world” with Renate Spiering. Visit SIETAR Deutschland Events to register!

    June 9, 2022 – SIETAR Switzerland Webinar: “Culture Club - Sustainability & Resilience” with Gundhild Hoenig and Tom Waterhouse. Visit SIETAR Switzerland Events to register!

    June 14, 2022 – SIETAR France Webinar: “How can a Solution-Focused Approach be used by intercultural trainers to help Ukrainians temporarily hosted in other countries, as well as refugees coming from war zones?” with Victoria Spashchenko and Grazia Ghellini. Visit SIETAR France Events to register!

    June 14, 2022 – SIETAR Switzerland Webinar: “Team Creativity Navigator© (TCN): A New Assessment and Competence Development Tool” with Pia Stalder. Visit SIETAR Switzerland Events to register!

    June 21, 2022 – SIETAR BC Videos Series: "My Perspective, My Voice" with Jimmy Aitken. Visit SIETAR BC Events to register!

    June 21, 2022 – SIETAR France Webinar: "Intercultural education – a necessary questioning of our educational practices" moderated by Frédérique Brossard Børhaug. Visit SIETAR France Events to register!

    June 22, 2022 – SIETAR Deutschland Training Series: “Solution Orientation” with Dr. Sabine Horst, Antje Gorgas and Simone Hönle from QuinteSentio. Visit SIETAR Deutschland Events to register!

    June 23, 2022 – SIETAR Switzerland Webinar: “Culture Club” with Gundhild Hoenig and Tom Waterhouse. Visit SIETAR Switzerland Events to register!

    June 30, 2022 – SIETAR France Webinar: “The human archipelago” with the authors Philippe Pierre and Michel Sauquet. Visit SIETAR France Events to register!



    Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month May is designated as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, celebrating the achievements and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the United States. The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks on the project were Chinese immigrants.

    Older Americans Month May is Older Americans Month, established in 1963 to honor the legacies and contributions of older Americans and to support them as they enter their next stage of life.

    Jewish American Heritage Month May is Jewish American Heritage Month, which recognizes the diverse contributions of the Jewish people to American culture.

    May is Mental Health Awareness Month (or Mental Health Month), which aims to raise awareness and educate the public about mental illnesses and reduce the stigma that surrounds mental illnesses.

    May is Haitian Heritage Month, a nationally recognized month and an opportunity for individuals including Haitians and lovers of the Haitian culture to celebrate the rich culture, distinctive art, delicious food and learn the traditions of Haiti and its people. The celebration is an expansion of the Haitian Flag Day on May 18th, a major patriotic day celebration in Haiti and the Diaspora created to encourage patriotism.

    May 16-17 (sundown to sunset): Shavo’ut, the “Festival of Weeks,” the second of three major Jewish festivals that focus on historical and agricultural importance.

    May 17: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, a global celebration of sexual-orientation and gender diversities.

    May 21: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is a United Nations–sanctioned international holiday for the promotion of diversity issues, which was created as a result of the destruction of the Buddha statues of Bamiyan in Afghanistan in 2001. It is an opportunity to help communities understand the value of cultural diversity and learn how to live together in harmony.

    May 24: Declaration of the Bab commemorates when the Báb announced in 1844 that he was the new messenger of God. The holiday begins two hours and eleven minutes after sunset, which is the exact time the Báb made his declaration.

    May 29: Ascension of Baha’u’llah is the anniversary of the death in exile of Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Baha’i faith, on May 29, 1892, outside Akko (now northern Israel).

    May 30 (last Monday of May): Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for mourning the U.S. military personnel who have died while serving in the United States armed forces.


    June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, established to recognize the impact that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on the world. LGBT groups celebrate this special time with pride parades, picnics, parties, memorials for those lost to hate crimes and HIV/AIDS, and other group gatherings. The last Sunday in June is Gay Pride Day.

    June is Caribbean American Heritage Month, established to recognize the significance of Caribbean culture and history in the United States; create and disseminate knowledge about the contributions of Caribbean people to the United States. This heritage Caribbean Americans come together to celebrate their heritage through many activities such as dancing, sharing traditional meals, festivals, parades, concerts, and observing and appreciating their rich history.

    June is Immigrant Heritage Month, established in June 2014, gives people across the United States an opportunity to annually explore their own heritage and celebrate the shared diversity that forms the unique story of America. It celebrates immigrants across the United States and their contributions to their local communities and economy.

    June is Black Music Month (also known as African American Music Appreciation Month), established in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter, celebrates the African American musical influences that comprise an essential part of our nation's treasured cultural heritage.

    June 5: Pentecost celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Jesus seven weeks (50 days) after the Resurrection (Easter). It also commemorates the founding of the Christian Church, which begins on this day. It is celebrated on June12th by Orthodox Christians.

    June 5-6 (sundown to sunset): Shavuot (also known as Feast of Weeks) celebrates the anniversary of the day God gave the Torah and Commandments to the entire nation of Israel assembled at Mount Sinai.

    June 8 (second Sunday in June): Race Unity Day (also known as Race Amity Day), was started by the Bahá'í National Spiritual Assembly in the United States in 1957. It was known as Race Amity Day until 1965. The goal is to raise awareness to the importance of racial harmony and understanding.

    June 10-12 (second weekend of June): National Puerto Rican Day Parade, chiefly celebrated in New York City, and now recognized in various other U.S. locations.

    June 12: Loving Day is an annual celebration held on June 12, the anniversary of the 1967 United States Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia which struck down all anti-miscegenation laws remaining in sixteen U.S. states.

    June 12 (second Sunday in June): National Children’s Day in the United States

    June 14: Flag Day in the United States, observed to celebrate the history and symbolism of the American flag.

    June 15: Native American Citizenship Day, commemorating the day in 1924 when the U.S. Congress passed legislation recognizing the citizenship of Native Americans.

    June 16: Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev, observed by members of the Sikh faith. Guru Arjan Dev was the fifth Sikh guru and the first Sikh martyr.

    June 19: Juneteeth (also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day) is a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States.

    June 20: World Refugee Day is an international day designated by the United Nations to honor refugees around the globe. It celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. It is an occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives.

    June 21: National Indigenous Peoples Day or First Nations Day, a day that gives recognition to the indigenous populations affected by colonization in Canada.

    June 21: Litha, the summer solstice celebrated by the Wiccans and Pagans. It is the longest day of the year, representing the sun’s “annual retreat.”

    June 26 (last Sunday in June): Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Pride Day in the United States. It celebrates the Stonewall Riots on June 28, 1969.


    Holidays list courtesy of: https://excellentpresence.com/5555/diversity-calendar-2022-multicultural-holidays/

  • 15 Apr 2022 10:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Rosita D. Albert, PhDWhen asked to write an opinion piece, I wondered what to write. The Editor had indicated that I could write about my work with cross-cultural psychologist Harry Triandis on the Culture Assimilator, or why I renamed it “The Intercultural Sensitizer,” or how I was living with the problems brought on by of a stroke I suffered in 2014.  Although I would be happy to reply to anyone who emailed me questions about these issues, I feel that there are more pressing issues that I would rather address.

    During the challenging times in which we are living, we interculturalists face many questions of how to be and what to do in the world. As a person and a Social Psychologist, I have always been interested in what could be done to prevent violence and harm. Most of my research, teaching and consulting has focused  on improving intercultural  interactions and communication.

    At the 2007 meetings of the International Academy for intercultural Research, ( IAIR) in Groningen, The Netherlands, I challenged colleagues to focus attention on one of the worse kinds of intercultural relations human beings can experience:  violent conflict (especially ethnic conflict), and what could be done to prevent it. Out of that challenge, IJIR’s Founder Dan Landis and I published the Landis and Albert (Eds.), 2012, Handbook of Ethnic Conflicts: International Perspectives with contributions from interculturalists from many countries.

    Earlier this year, I was struck how much of the division and polarization in the U. S. resembled what had happened in the ethnic conflicts analyzed in the Handbook (Albert, Gabrielsen and Landis (2012) , particularly  the demonization of “the other” and  divergent narratives about the history of the conflict.  I believe that both factors are at play in the current invasion of Ukraine, as well as in the conflict between Trump supporters and non-supporters in the United States.

    The current invasion of Ukraine bears similarities to the many conflicts covered in the Handbook: an ambitious, powerful president (Putin) fomented an invasion in the name of his ethnicity, this time by claiming that Ukraine was really part of Russia, not a culturally and historically separate nation. Instead of using differences to divide, he sought to dominate another people by attempting to annex them and justified the invasion by using a false narrative that the Ukrainians were the threatening party and the ones to blame for the carnage.  

    We have also a seen former U.S. President Trump foment division and an insurrection in the United States by distorting the reality of the result of the 2020 election. Both presidents justified attacks on another group by distorting reality and denigrating members of the other group.

    I have always thought that creating intercultural understanding is an important avenue for preventing conflict. Now in the current crises, I want to urge all interculturalists to more actively help preserve the planet, our country and the world.                                                  

    I hope the invasion of Ukraine serves as a cautionary note to U.S. citizens enamored with Trump’s “strength.” I think it is important to remember that Hitler, Putin, and other dictators were originally elected before they became dictators. As Ukrainian President Zelensky has pointed out in one of his recent videos, and as he has amply demonstrated, strength is not based on raw power, but on good values that are shared.

    I know that it is hard to know what to do, and where to start, but I do believe most of us are capable of taking some steps. For example, anyone with a phone can volunteer to call voters in key states in our upcoming elections, as I did in the U.S. special election in Georgia in 2021. One can donate to organizations that help candidates who represent the values of openness, inclusion, diversity, truth, and the rule of law, as well as organizations that fight against hatred, conflict and war and that support peace and democracy. I believe that if each one of us takes small steps. the resulting effect will be great and impactful.

    We can no longer afford to be silent because the values that we hold as interculturalists are being threatened in our country and around the world. I believe that at this crucial time of multiple crises, each one of us has to find the vehicle by which we can best contribute to creating a more harmonious and peaceful country and world, in order for the planet, peace and democracy to survive.

    I would love to hear your ideas and learn about your action plans. Please mention SIETAR USA on the title of your email, because after a recent hacking attempt, I don’t open emails from people I don’t know.


    Albert, R.D.  ( 1995). The Intercultural Sensitizer ( ICS)  or Culture Assimilator as a cross-cultural training method .  In S.M. Fowler and M. Mumford (Eds): Intercultural Sourcebook, (Cross-cultural training methods, Vol. 1, pp. 157–167). Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press.

    Albert, R.D., Gabrielsen, S., and Landis. D. (2012). Ethnic Conflict from an Interdisciplinary Perspective:  Lessons Learned, Policy Implications, and Recommendations for Conflict Amelioration and Peace Building , in Landis And Albert (Eds.) , The  Handbook of Ethnic Conflict: International Perspectives (pp..587-630) , New York: Springer.

  • 15 Apr 2022 10:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As an organization committed to the support of respect for diversity and equity, freedom of self-determination and intercultural understanding, we condemn in the strongest possible terms the recent aggression shown by Russia against the citizens of Ukraine. We stand with our colleagues around the world in solidarity with the people suffering under the threat of attack and diminishment of freedom in their own land. We also consider the wonderful people of Russia to be victims of this tyranny, having to live under oppression and hardship from a leader with no compassion for them or their internal plight.

    Nothing can be more of an affront to the human spirit than the use of war under false pretenses to destroy the autonomy of a nation that has enjoyed democracy for its people. We send our most sincere thoughts to the people of Ukraine, and to those with family and friends now confronting unjustified aggression and defending their freedom.

  • 15 Apr 2022 10:47 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Letter from the Editor

    As I write this the war rages on in Ukraine with more bad news reported every day. I hope that a resolution is in the near future. Being a typical American who values doing and action, my feeling of utter helplessness for fixing the problem haunts my thoughts. I agree with Janet Yellen who said that Russia’s invasion “including the atrocities committed against innocent Ukrainians in Bucha, are reprehensible, represent an unacceptable affront to the rules-based global order, and will have enormous economic repercussions for the world.” It is a reminder of the complex, global intertwining that all countries now experience and the importance of our work to improve intercultural relations.

    It also reminds me that whatever the United States or NATO or the UN tries to do, there will be repercussions that will be felt long after I’m gone. In a recent conversation with Zareen Karani Araoz, she said that her lifelong goal has been to bring about better intercultural relations and world peace. My response was that my goal has been that if I could open at least one person’s eyes to perspectives they had not considered and changed their behavior and beliefs in a way that made the world a better place, I would have achieved my goal. It seems I have a ripple in the pool approach to my chosen profession.

    small booklet titled TactMy Spring Cleaning includes finally sorting through several boxes of stuff that I inherited from my father many, many years ago. I came across a small booklet titled Tact written in 1933 by J. Clinton Ransom (Wells Publishing Company). It was written for businessmen in management (not women who are not mentioned anywhere in the book as anything other than customers or salesladies). It made me think of a less than tactful moment recently when I wish I had said something differently. Haven’t we all at one time written an untactful message which we wish we had not sent? The thing that caught my eye in the oddly stilted writing of almost 90 years ago was the old fable of the sun and the wind. “It is prettily noted of a contention between the Winde and the Sunne, who should have the victory. A Gentleman walking abroad, the Winde thought to blow off his cloak, which with great blasts and blustering striving to unloose it, made it to stick faster to his back, for the more the Winde increased the closer his cloak clapt to his body: then the Sunne, shining its hot beams, began to warm this gentleman, who waxing somewhat faint in this fair weather, did not only put off his cloak but his coat, which the Winde perceiving, yielded the conquest to the Sunne (p. 15).”

    The author’s conclusion was to always remember that men are more easily led than driven, and that in any case it is much better to guide than to coerce. That works for both men and women and certainly for me. How many times in my life do I need to learn that lesson? The only words my father underlined were: “You must not receive everything that is said as a critic or a judge, but suspend your judgment, and try to enter into the feelings of the speaker (p. 20).”  Isn’t this what we strive to do in any intercultural exchange?

    Could tact have worked on the Russian leaders? Diplomacy was given a chance to no avail. It is easy to see that the promise of sanctions did not work. What might have been a more tactful approach that could have guided Russia to a different perspective on Ukraine? It seems that Putin saw only coercion and threats. If Zelensky’s offer of neutrality had been made sooner, might that have avoided the destruction of his country? We will never know what could have made a difference, but maybe more tact would have helped.

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

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