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  • 25 Nov 2019 2:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The November webinar with Rita Wuebbler presenting on Personal Leadership offered a way of thinking about leadership that starts with the self. Rita started the webinar in a somewhat unusual way. She started with silence. In Personal Leadership, silence is valued for the time it gives us to collect ourselves in a stressful situation, to listen carefully, and to remain centered within the principles and practices of Personal Leadership. The webinar recording is available on the website, free for members and at a reasonable cost ($25) for non-members.

    The December webinar promises to be special with Miguel Gandert’s amazing photographs of the holiday celebrations in the U.S. Southwest where several cultures have come together to create special ways of celebrating the holidays. He will describe for us the complex narrative and symbols of Hispano and Native-American communities in the Rio Grande valley in New Mexico. Using photography he will show the performance and symbols in each community as they use the rituals to create a fidelity to culture and community. In addition he will examine New Mexico’s tri-cultural myth (Anglo, Hispano, and Native-American), which is currently under reexamination since the New Mexico House and Senate passed a memorial bill in 2010 recognizing  Genizarios  as an historical cultural classification. Miguel is an Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Journalism from the University of New Mexico.

  • 25 Nov 2019 2:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Several of the SIETAR Local Group leaders gathered together during the SIETAR USA conference in Atlanta to explore ways to foster a virtual community among the local groups, tap into local resources, generate new ideas for events (including virtual events) and support new groups just starting, and to get to know each other better. As leaders sipped wine and engaged in stimulating dialogue, they shared what the SIETAR community means to them. Comments such as “it feels like coming home” and “a sense of belonging” were echoed by several members who stated the camaraderie with like-minded people and professional development opportunities were what originally drew them to SIETAR.

    Currently, SIETAR has local groups in Washington DC, Minnesota, Florida and the recently formed Tri-State (NY, NJ, and CT) with interest in reviving a group in North Carolina soon. Interested in starting a local group in your area? Please contact Julia Gaspar-Bates at localgroups@sietarusa.org for details.

  • 25 Nov 2019 2:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Be a part of the very first dozen!

    Learning together and putting our skills and ideas into practice right away – what can be a better way for being part of a vibrant professional organization? Belonging is about active engagement and that is the core idea behind the SIETAR USA new offering: SIETAR USA Leadership Academy.

    At the end of this short article you will be invited to email academy@sietarusa.org if you are interested in being a part of this new adventure. Not everybody likes to wait – email now and keep reading!

    SIETAR USA ACADEMY: Certification Program in Intercultural Organizational Leadership is proposed as a valuable professional and personal development opportunity for members who are:

    • Interested in deepening their learning about ins and out of intercultural leadership;
    • Are willing to invest their time, effort, and resources in this process;
    • Ready to engage in a 10-month long cohort-based program that will combine:
      • Education and mentoring provided by experienced interculturalists/veterans of SIETAR USA
      • Experiential project-based learning
      • Engagement in the SIETAR USA volunteer activities
      • Ongoing reflection to solidify and deepen their learning

    Upon completion of the program and submitting their final summary of experience/reflection papers participants will receive a SIETAR USA Certificate of Intercultural Leadership Practitioners.

    Are you asking yourself the most important question of ant adult learner – what’s in it for me?

    Here is how we see the desirable outcomes for the SIETAR members who will engage in the program:

    • Practical Leadership Skills

    Academy will offer a combination of theoretical and experiential learning with main focus on applicable skills and best practices of intercultural leadership.

    • Resources

    Connecting to a high-quality professional network. On-going relationships with experienced, successful people in the intercultural and DEI fields. SIETAR USA is a talent-rich organization with a time-honored tradition of collegial sharing and generosity. We will engage culturally and professionally diverse faculty from among the most experienced Sietarians as faculty, coaches, and mentors to participate in the process.

    • Internal Work

    Leadership is an “internal job”. Participants will engage in learning from their own life stories and learning how to use them to lead others. Special attention will be given to the importance of leading oneself while leading others (a Personal Leadership approach)

    • Making a Difference

    Contributing to the progress of an organization. Having a positive effect on an organization’s tone, culture.

    What is the next important question for any adult learner?

    You got it – how much? How much of my time and how much of my money will be required?

    Time – a few hours a month – will be shared between three major activities:

    1. Participants will have 10 virtual two-hour sessions, half of which will be education/mentoring by five different SIETAR experts and the other half will be for the cohort members to engage as a team and focus on their own needs, issues, experiences of practicing intercultural leadership in the world.
    2. Project-focused service learning: cohort participants will be working in small virtual teams on various projects relevant for SIETAR. For example, fundraising or outreach. Teams will engage in competition to make the process more fun and engaging.
    3. Ongoing reflection (journaling and such) will be an expected part of the process.

    We anticipate a great degree of information and resource sharing by faculty and participants, which means that some time every month will be needed for reading, listening to podcasts, and watching videos. Each participant will decide for themselves how to structure their learning process and time.


    This 10-month certification program will cost participants $ 1250. We know that different people have different budget constrains and we don’t want anybody to be prevented from joining simply because of money. How to be a leader in addressing financial realities is one of the important learnings for participants of the SIETAR USA Academy. Let’s talk about it!

    If you have not emailed us yet, now is definitely the time to do it: academy@sietarusa.org. Maximum size of the first cohort is capped at 12 participants!

    Tatyana Fertelmeyster,
    Lead Faculty for SIETAR USA Academy
    Past President of SIETAR USA

  • 25 Nov 2019 2:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    December 4, 2019 - SIETAR Europa WEBINAR: “Challenge Our Perception: Tools to Overcome Cultural Stereotypes” with Kirsten Waechter. Visit https://www.sietareu.org/activities/webinars to register!

    December 5, 2019SIETAR USA WEBINAR: Nuevo Mexico’s Mid-Winter Celebrations: A Look at the Intercultural Symbols and Reexamination of the Tri-Cultural Myth.

    Free to members; $25 fee for non-members. Sign up today: December 2019 webinar


    November is National Native American Heritage Month, which celebrates the history and contributions of Native Americans.

    November 20: Transgender Day of Remembrance, established in 1998 to memorialize those who have been killed as a result of transphobia and to raise awareness of the continued violence endured by the transgender community.

    November 24: Feast of Christ the King, a Catholic holiday established in thanking God for the gift of time and a rededication to the Christian faith.

    November 28: Thanksgiving in the United States the United States. It began as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.

    November 30-December 3: St. Andrew’s Day, the feast day for St. Andrew within various Christian denominations.


    December 1: World AIDS Day, commemorating those who have died of AIDS, and to acknowledge the need for a continued commitment to all those affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

    December 1-24: Advent, a Christian season of celebration leading up to the birth of Christ.

    December 3: International Day of Disabled Persons, designed to raise awareness in regards to persons with disabilities in order to improve their lives and provide them with equal opportunity.

    December 10: International Human Rights Day, established by the United Nations in 1948 to commemorate the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    December 12: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a religious holiday in Mexico commemorating the appearance of the Virgin Mary near Mexico City in 1531.

    December 13: St. Lucia’s Day, a religious festival of light in Scandinavia and Italy commemorating the martyrdom of St. Lucia, a young Christian girl who was killed for her faith in 304 C.E. She secretly brought food to persecuted Christians in Rome while wearing a wreath of candles on her head so both her hands would be free.

    Holidays list courtesy of: https://www.diversitybestpractices.com/2019-diversity-holidays

  • 12 Oct 2019 6:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Sandy FowlerThe conference gestation period is almost at an end—just a few weeks until the baby will be born. It always takes on a life of its own once it starts—much like a real baby coming into the world. I know it is drawing close because after daily work on the zillion conference decisions and arrangements since January, it’s now entering my dreams. Some of the dreams have a germ of sense or relate to what I was working on that day, but some are a bit bizarre. That’s the nature of dreams but not the nature of the conference. It will be an exciting learning event and not to be missed.

    At some point in their career, every interculturalist is asked, “Why is intercultural competence important? What difference does it make?” These questions challenge the foundations of the intercultural field. What is your answer? These questions and more are food for discussion with your colleagues at the 18th national conference in Atlanta.

    Why now? International relations as well as domestic diversity and inclusion are unsettled and not getting any better. Communication plays a significant role in people’s perceptions of the state of the world. Instant global communication relays events that happen across borders around the world as they happen. Violence in one city or town becomes the news of the day. Intercultural competence is needed now as never before.

    Join us for a conference designed to stimulate your thinking, foster insights and understanding, expand your skills and renew your commitment—we will work together to explore important questions and seek answers.

    Sandra M. Fowler
    SIETAR USA President

  • 12 Oct 2019 6:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear SIETAR USA members and colleagues,

    The future of SIETAR USA depends on its members to support its mission and to provide the leadership to guide the organization.

    SIETAR USA annually opens a call for nominations to the board of directors.We invite you to become involved by nominating yourself or another candidate. You can anyone you nominate must be:

    1. Member in good standing with SIETAR USA (or willing to become a member)
    2. Member who has attended SIETAR USA conferences in the past five (5) years
    The Nominations Committee identifies candidates through a nomination process for each position based on the required skill and knowledge sets needed for each position. Members may add names to the list of candidates by sending a petition to the Chair of the Nominations Committee.

    To that end, we are issuing the 2019 Call for Nominations for the Board of Directors of SIETAR USA. We invite you to become involved by nominating yourself or another candidate. Click here to download the 2019 call for nominations (PDF). 

    Petitions are due to the Chair of the Nominations Committee by November 5, 2019

    List of Positions Open for Nomination

    There are eight Officer and Directors positions open for nomination in 2019:

    • President Elect (Officer)
    • Secretary (Officer)
    • Treasurer (Officer)
    • Communications (Director)
    • Local Groups (Director)
    • Membership, Outreach and Diversity (Director)
    • Professional Development (Director)
    • Sponsorship Partnership Development (Director)


    The Nominations Committee identifies candidates through a nomination process for each position based on the required skill and knowledge sets needed for each position. Members may add names to the list of candidates by sending a petition to the Chair of the Nominations Committee by November 5, 2019. The petition must be signed by at least five current SIETAR USA members who support the addition of this candidate; signature by email is accepted. This slate is then announced to the members of SIETAR USA. If there is more than one candidate for a position, an election will be held.

    New Board members will serve their terms starting January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2022 unless noted otherwise. They will serve a three-year term (unless noted otherwise) and carry responsibilities for the portfolio (position responsibilities) for which they were elected. Upon completion of his/her term, every board member can choose to self-nominate for three more years of the same or a different board position and go through the nomination process as any new candidate would during that same nomination cycle. According to the SIETAR USA By-laws, Board membership generally cannot exceed nine (9) consecutive years.

    For more details on the process and a full description of the positions open for nominationplease download and read the 2019 Call For Nominations.  

  • 11 Oct 2019 12:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Abroad: British Literary Traveling Between the Wars by Paul Fussell. 1980 Oxford University Press, 246 pages. Reviewed by Craig Storti.

    Many books are more or less one-trick wonders; you read them, enjoy them, set them aside, and pick up something different. When they’re over, they’re over. Other books start something; you enjoy them, but they also introduce you to their friends. So when you finish one, you pick up a related book they put you onto. Abroad is like that; if you start reading Abroad and enjoy it, you’ll almost certainly move on to some of the books and authors it will introduce you to—and be the better for it.

    So who are these folks? The list is impressive, a who’s who of some of the greatest British writers of the 20th century, who just happened to also write travel books: —Anthony Burgess, Cyril Connolly, Robert Graves, Graham Greene, Aldous Huxley, Christopher Isherwood, D. H. Lawrence, Somerset Maugham, George Orwell, and Evelyn Waugh. And then there are the great British travel writers: J. R. Ackerley, Robert Byron, Bruce Chatwin, Norman Douglas, Patrick Leigh-Fermor, Peter Fleming, and Freya Stark, among others.

    The book, broadly speaking, is intellectual history, a presentation and examination of ideas about travel and how it has evolved. But don’t let that put you off; Fussell is so wry, trenchant, and amusing that even when he is talking concepts, his tone delights and will keep you reading. And then, suddenly, you find yourself in Sicily, Tahiti, Tibet, Mt. Athos, Liberia, Kabul, or the French Riviera, where you are mightily entertained.

    So what is this book about? That’s hard. Here is what Fussell says it’s about in his preface: “This book is about travel writing, but it is also about travel, so I have dealt not just with books but with ships and trains, passport photographs and national borders and small French seaport towns, hotels and cafes and beach resorts, architecture ancient and modern, food and drink, nude sunbathing, and sex, both procreative and recreational. I have dealt with icy trenches and sunny patios, West African and Brazilian chiggers, touts of all nations, suntan oil, oranges and palm trees…. I have done all these things to imply the context of travel writing from 1919 to 1939, to suggest what it felt like to be young and clever and literate in the final age of travel.”

    The greatest joy of the book, at least for this reader, was the other books it sent me to, most especially Robert Byron’s The Road to Oxiana, an account of a journey Byron and Christopher Sykes took in the 1920s through the Middle East to Oxiana, the country of the Oxus, the river that is the border between Russia and Afghanistan. Byron is Fussell’s personal hero as a travel writer, mainly on the strength of this book but also one other, Mount Athos, which contains a wonderful description of a classic cross-cultural faux pas. Byron is staying at an Orthodox Christian monastery in the Sinai:

    My first shock came when I was requested, politely but firmly, by the guest-master to remove a pair of underpants then fluttering happily from the line. This, he pointed out, was a monastery; shirts, socks, handkerchiefs, even vests, might be dried with propriety within its walls. But underpants were a shameful abomination and could on no account be permitted. Meekly, I obeyed; but worse was to come. I woke the following morning at dawn...and made quietly for the wash-house.  Its principal furnishing was a huge stone trough; and into this I now clambered, covering myself from head to foot in a deep and luxurious lather. At this point the guest-master appeared. Never have I seen anyone so angry. For the second time in twelve hours I had desecrated his monastery. Having already offended God and the Mother of God with the spectacle of my underpants, I was now compounding the sacrilege by standing stark naked under the very roof of the Grand Lavra. I was the whore of Babylon, I was Sodom and Gomorrah, I was a minion of Satan sent to corrupt the Holy Mountain. I was to put on my scabrous clothes at once and return with all speed to the foul pit whence I had come.

    Cross-cultural encounters and the insights they produce are everywhere in these pages. How could they not be? This is a book full of the impressions of some of the most sensitive observers of the 20th century. When these people encounter culture, they feel it—and then they talk about how it affects them.  

    Abroad came out almost 40 years ago, so finding a new copy may be difficult (I just saw 7 on Amazon), but used copies abound, both in hardcover and paperback.

    (Paul Fussell died some years ago so there is no author interview this month.)

  • 10 Oct 2019 6:28 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Dr. Neal Goodman, Founder/President, Global Dynamics

    October 15, 2019 - 11 am-12:30 pm (ET)

    From the corporate and educational to governmental and non-profit sectors, the case for unconscious bias training is gaining traction given the increase of workplace discrimination in the news. From high profile cases, such as Starbucks, to micro-inequities and micro-aggressions that occur on a daily basis across organizations, it is clear that, as interculturalists, we need to cultivate the knowledge and skills to address this growing problem and its impact on workplace inclusion. Join us for this highly interactive webinar, during which Dr. Goodman will present the case for unconscious bias training. We will also explore the impact of neuroscience in creating bias, the most common types of biases and their mitigation, and best practices for interculturalists to address unconscious bias in their work.

    Registration = FREE for current, paid SIETAR USA members in good standing

    Registration = $25.00 for nonmembers

    Access to this webinar will be via the Zoom platform.

    Click here to register: Unconscious Bias Training and Implications for Interculturalists

    About the Presenter

    Dr. Neal GoodmanDr. Neal Goodman, founder and president of Global Dynamics, is an internationally recognized authority in international human resource management and organizational development. He has spent a lifetime promoting intercultural understanding through research, writing, activism, academia. Over the years, Dr. Goodman has taught over 10,000 students and trained over 100,000 corporate leaders. He has served on the faculty of St. Peter’s University, where he retired as Professor Emeritus in 2004. Dr. Goodman has been a member of SIETAR since 1978 and was the recipient of the 1995 SIETAR Interculturalist Achievement Award for his lifetime contribution to the intercultural field.

  • 10 Oct 2019 5:58 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Authors book cornerMeet the Authors in the Conference Foyer Thursday afternoon, October 31st and Friday morning, November 1st. Look for the table sign and the comfortable chairs identifying the Authors’ Book Corner. Find out more about their books, engage in conversations with these interesting, published authors. You could meet Fiona Citkin, Fanchon Silberstein, David Sanford, Vicki Flier Hudson, Farzana Nayani, Joe Lurie, Mai Nguyen-Phuong-Mai and more. Authors: If you have a recently published book, bring it along and join the authors in the Book Corner.

    The range of topics covered by the aforementioned authors is compelling. Fiona writes about How They Made It in America—success stories and strategies of immigrant women from Isabel Allende to Ivana Trump and many more. Fanchon has written a book soon to be published, about understanding Art from an interculturalist’s perspective and why it matters, in her book Art inSight. David’s book was reviewed by Craig Storti in January’s The Interculturalist: A Periodical of SIETAR USA. David wrote Spilling the Beans: A Guide for Indians to Understand and Communicate Successfully with U.S. Americans, although readers will also learn more about Americans from an Indian perspective. Vicki authored the e-book Zen and the Art of Offshoring: How to Build a Collaborative and Profitable Team with Your Partners in India based on her knowledge and experience of India’s cultural approach to business. Farzana’s book soon to be published on Raising Multiracial Children: Tools for Nurturing Identity in a Radicalized World is timely and essential. Joe—also reviewed and interviewed by Craig Storti—wrote Perception and Deception: A Mind Opening Journey Across Cultures. Mai Nguyen-Phuong-Mai has has a newly published book: Cross-Cultural Management with Insights from Brain Science, which gives you a sense of one of the topics that will be featured at the 2020 conference in Omaha.

    We hope more authors will join the Authors’ Book Corner. We also hope that you will consider taking this opportunity to talk personally with the authors about their work and experiences writing their books.

  • 10 Oct 2019 5:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Deanna Shoss for Executive Diversity Services

    Deanna ShossIn his book, The Little Book of Restorative Justice, Howard Zehr, a leader of the Restorative Justice movement, defines it as “a process to involve those who have a stake in a specific offense and collectively identify and address harms, needs, and obligations…to heal and put things as right as possible.”

    The central idea is that crime (or conflict, depending on the setting) causes harm and justice should focus on repairing that harm. Therefore the people most affected by the crime should be able to participate in its resolution. And it acknowledges that those affected include not only the victim, but the accused and often the community at large.

    “Restorative practices are needs based, community driven approaches that promote inclusion, connection, learning and accountability,” says Angola Dixon, an ordained energy healer and owner/founder of Seattle based Circle Pulse, an experiential company specializing in Restorative Justice, Energy and Peacemaking. “A Peacemaker works to ‘make peace’ by reconciling parties who are disconnected, disagree or engage in conflict.”

    And Dixon has been doing just that as a trainer and facilitator in schools, communities and with businesses across Seattle and King County.

    Restorative Justice for Community Building

    As a past leader in the Non-Profit Anti-Racism Coalition (NPARC) in Seattle, Dixon was involved in leading grant-funded racial-equity circles in Seattle. NPARC supports organizations in practicing institutional anti-racism. The community Racial Equity Circles “allowed people to sit in a circle and talk about race in a way that gave everyone in the circle a voice,” says Dixon.

    A “talking piece” is central to the process. It is passed from person-to-person around the circle, and only the person with the talking peace can speak. “It’s an exercise to get people to listen deeply without the need to respond. There’s no interrupting. It’s less of a discussion and more a practice in active and reflective listening,” Dixon explains. “What did you hear this person say? You get chance to say what you thought was said, and the other to respond–did they get it right? It’s back-and-forth and reflective.”

    “Talking about race for some can be a trigger,” says Dixon. “There can be lots of trauma connected. And many people don’t know how to start a conversation around race.” For the community Peacemaking Circles, people had the opportunity to meet with homogenous groups first to work on their own pain, issues and biases before coming together in interracial circles. “Ultimately the goal was to bring the community together and to collectively address issues of institutional racism. The Peacemaking Circle process gave everyone who wanted to participate a voice in that process.”

    Restorative Justice in the School System

    Restorative circles also have been used in the classroom to lower suspension. In 2018-2019 Dixon coordinated Transformative Practices at Nova High School in Seattle, facilitating Racial and Health Equity Circles. In Spring 2019, her Teen Health Needs Assessment is helping Nova design a new teen health center, opening Fall 2020, focused on LGBTQ+ and POC health.

    Dixon has worked in schools through the window of professional development, where schools provide training for teachers so that they can lead restorative circles in their classrooms. “Nova High School has a strong culture of inclusion and tolerance,” says Dixon. “Students committees such as the People of Color Committee, the LGBTQ Committee and others are leading the way in how they want to interact with staff and promote school safety.”

    Dixon found that teachers wanted to use the practice but weren’t sure if they were doing it right. “The training gives teachers a tool for building community and resolving conflict in their classrooms.” As part of the training Dixon advocates for ongoing circles for relationship building to prevent conflict before it happens.

    Restorative Justice in the Juvenile Court System

    The myth is that restorative justice replaces harsher consequences. In Seattle it is the King County Prosecutor’s Office that decides which cases are eligible for restorative justice. Participation in restorative justice programs is voluntary for all participants. It involves a basic, three-step process: first, a meeting with the person charged and his or her support persons; then, a meeting with the person who was harmed and their support person; and, finally, a meeting of all the people impacted by the incident.

    “This is not just about talking. This is about accountability,” says Dixon. “It recognizes that offenders need to heal. Victims get a chance to be heard and healed as well.” It’s a very specific, facilitated process. And once an agreement on restitution is reached, if the offender doesn’t follow through, “they would go through the regular criminal justice system as though restorative justice never happened,” she adds.

    But restorative justice does appear to reduce recidivism, particularly with juveniles. A study from Sam Houston State University in Texas showed that “restorative justice programs, such as victim-offender mediation and community impact panels, are more effective in reducing recidivism rates among juvenile offenders than traditional court processing.” Another report from the US Department of Justice also suggested that “some restorative justice programs—when compared to traditional approaches—can reduce future delinquent behavior.” That report cited that it also produced greater satisfaction for victims. (Read more about the King County Restorative Justice Program here.)

    Restorative Justice for Businesses

    “Restorative circles allow you to have deeper relationships among team members,” says Dixon, who has facilitated this approach at company retreats, for team building and conflict resolution. She sees the restorative circle approach as a path to change the way people interact with each other.

    “In business we’re taught to be impersonal to be effective. Restorative justice focuses on relationships first as a healthy way to have compassion and lead you to bigger community success.”

    Reprinted with permission from https://www.executivediversity.com/2019/09/25/restorative-justice-for-communities-schools-and-businesses/

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